One of the often overlooked elements of hiring new staff members is integrating them into the social aspects of the dental office. This issue is even more challenging in more established offices where many of the team members have been working together for years.
We are aware of the need to show the new staff member how the office operates and specifically how to successfully fulfil their new duties in the office. Emphasis is placed on the technical aspects of their job and we can quickly bring qualified staff members up to speed – so they can successfully work with patients and contribute to the office’s mission.
While we might think that once a new team member is trained and able to perform their assigned duties in the office well that our job is completed in the integration of the new team member – this would be not be true. We often forget that the dental office is also a cluster of people working in close quarters and that when staff members feel out of the social mix they often are unhappy in their work – and this will eventually show in their work.
It is important that we take active steps to integrate the new staff member in the social flow of the office. I suggest setting up lunches with the new staff member and the existing team members. Let the team get to know the new hire as a person. Also make sure that you speak to the entire team about the importance of making the new hire feel welcome.
While friendships and community usually develop organically between team members, it is important to be aware that this process is occurring as it should. In older offices where staff have been together for sometimes decades, new hires often find it difficult to break into the social flow. In cases of more established offices, go out of your way to make sure to go out of your way to encourage the staff to invite the new hires into their ‘club’.
For an office to truly be healthy, it takes a cohesive and respectful community of professionals working together. Part of this community is that each member feels fully included.
Dr. Corey Gold
President - Advanced Continuing Education Systems