recruitment crisis dental uk

Why Is the Dental Recruitment Crisis a Crisis of Dental Practice Culture?

The behaviours that you see in your dental practice are shaped by what matters most and whatever it is that you and your team collectively believe to be true; values and then beliefs shape behaviours.

The culture of your dental practice is a summary of the collective beliefs of the people that work in it.

“I need to understand and improve the culture of my dental practice…can you help?”

If you want to improve the culture of your dental practice, then think about the collective beliefs that need to change. The culture of your dental practice is not what you tell the team you want it to be, it’s never what it says on your website or what you pin to the noticeboard in the kitchen. The culture of your dental practice is what your team tell you it is.

If you want to improve the culture of your dental practice, then you need to ask your team what it is, in a safe and easy way and then know what to do with the answers. There are some very simple and proven ways to do this.

“I want to grow and do more with my dental practice… can you help?”

One of the most challenging things that you will need to do is to allow room for errors. This is counter intuitive for clinicians who often judge themselves and each other on achieving perfection. However, whilst a culture of continuous growth may sound attractive for your financial stakeholders, it’s rarely a measure of success for your patients or mostly desired by the team you pay to serve them. A culture of continuous growth rarely brings out the best in people, often goes against their personal values and creates the fear of getting it wrong.

Instead lead a culture where you all learn from mistakes as much as success, where your team feel safe, and have the opportunity to learn and to be understood and to do better.

The irony of my last 30 years working with businesses has been to observe that the cultures that focus only growth, always do so at the expense of something. We have to learn from this, that it isn’t any more about just doing more things, we have to do better things too. Leading the right culture in your dental practice will lead you out of a recruitment crisis.

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