High Employee Turnover? What’s Going Wrong? 

By: Hannah Crowell

A dental office may experience high employee turnover for various reasons, which can negatively impact the overall functioning of the practice.

Top Causes of High Employee Turnover

Here are some potential reasons why your dental office may have high staff turnover:

1. Low Compensation

Dentists and hygienists invest significant time and money in their education and training.

If the compensation offered by the dental office is not competitive with market rates, employees may seek higher-paying opportunities elsewhere.

The same will go for assistants and front staff who also feel that they are being undervalued. 

2. Lack of Benefits

Dental professionals often value benefits such as health insurance, retirement plans, and paid time off.

A dental office that does not provide these benefits may struggle to retain staff. 

3. High Workload and Stress

Even in a great office, dental work can be physically and emotionally demanding.

If staff members are consistently overworked or subjected to high stress levels due to patient volume, changes in job expectations, or other factors, they might opt for positions with a better work-life balance. 

4. Inadequate Training and Development

Dental professionals need ongoing training to stay current with the latest advancements in dentistry.

If a dental office does not invest in professional development opportunities, employees may feel stagnant in their careers and seek growth elsewhere. 

5. Poor Management and Leadership

Ineffective management can lead to dissatisfaction among staff members.

Lack of clear communication, micromanagement, favoritism, and a lack of support from leadership can contribute to a toxic work environment and drive employees away. 

6. Limited Career Advancement

Dental professionals often seek opportunities for career growth.

If a dental office does not offer avenues for advancement, employees may feel their career prospects are limited resulting in talented assistants and front staff leaving the field for ones with more opportunities for career growth. 

7. Unhealthy Work Culture

A negative or unsupportive work culture can be a major driver of staff turnover.

Bullying, harassment, lack of teamwork, and a lack of respect among colleagues can push employees to look for healthier work environments. 

8. Inadequate Equipment and Technology

Dentistry relies heavily on modern equipment and technology.

If a dental office lags behind in adopting new tools and technologies, it can hinder the efficiency and effectiveness of the staff, leading them to consider practices with better resources.

Dentists and hygienists do not want to fall behind their peers with the use of digital or advanced technology.

Their skills and ability to provide superior patient is an important factors to consider.

9. Unpredictable Scheduling

Inconsistent scheduling practices can disrupt work-life balance and personal commitments, leading to frustration and dissatisfaction among staff members. 

10. Lack of Recognition and Appreciation

Feeling undervalued and unappreciated can lead to demotivation and a sense that their efforts are going unnoticed. Regular recognition and appreciation for a job well done can improve staff morale and loyalty. 

11. Commute and Location

The location of the dental office can play a role in turnover.

If the office is situated far from where employees live, and there are no additional benefits to outweigh this, they might seek positions closer to home to reduce commuting time and expenses. 

12. Changes in Ownership or Management

Transitions in ownership or leadership can result in uncertainty and changes in policies that may not align with the preferences of existing staff members. 

Reduce High Employee Turnover in Your Dental Practice

Addressing these factors and creating a positive, supportive, and professional work environment can help reduce staff turnover and foster a loyal and motivated dental team.

Working in the dental field is highly stressful – it is customer service combined with healthcare, and it takes special people to be able to thrive in that environment.

Treat your team well and they will remain your team.

Photo by fauxel

Dr. Hannah Crowell

Dr. Hannah Crowell

Dr. Hannah Crowell is a graduate of The Ohio State Dental School and is practicing as a general dentist in Houston, Texas. She happily lives there with her husband (also a general dentist), their three young children, and their pup. She is kept busy with her work and family, but enjoys hanging out with family and friends, road trips (with many necessary pit stops due to feisty toddlers), and exploring new cities and the great outdoors whenever she gets the opportunity!