dental staff leadership

Good Dental Staff Leadership Keeps Employees

Employee satisfaction increases their loyalty and the number of years dental staff spend with your practice. Reduce staff turnover by making your office a place they want to be and by being the leader people want to work for. Use these tips to show the kind of leadership at a practice where team members want to work for a long time.

The Right Attitude 

Be the boss people enjoy working for. 

  • Greet everyone in the morning and wish them a good night or good weekend at the end of the day.
  • Be patient with human error, especially when someone’s learning the ropes.
  • Model the boundaries you want them to maintain regarding professional/personal activities.
  • This is a big one: when you hurt someone or make a mistake, apologize. It can be hard to say “I’m sorry,” but those words have a big impact on employees.


One reason people quit jobs is that they feel like management doesn’t communicate clearly, whether it’s job expectations, organization changes, or other things.

  • Keep an updated written job description for each employee. Ask each person to update their job description regularly as processes get overhauled and protocols change. Staff can get frustrated when what someone does and what their official job description says they do don’t match. 
  • What’s the mission of your practice? What values do you hold? Make these objectives and values clear to help staff see how their role fits into the bigger picture. A practice that lives out its mission and values increases staff morale, loyalty and trust; and make sure that your leadership team demonstrates this and leads by example.
  • Listen to your dental staff. Talk to them regularly. Ask them what would motivate them and make them happy!


Don’t forget the obvious: giving your employees the compensation they deserve is a vital part of employee satisfaction.

  • Pay team members a salary that is competitive for your area. You can check if your salaries are appropriate by checking websites such as, and Job websites, such as Forbes, Indeed, Glassdoor, and Ziprecruiter often have this kind of info, too.
  • Offer an attractive benefits package and make sure your employees know about it (a surprising number of employees aren’t aware of everything their employer provides). This might include paid time off, paid holidays, uniform expenses and laundry costs, insurance benefits, payroll taxes, paid continuing education, association dues, and retirement plans. You might even let them know the dollar value of each of those things, which often impresses employees.
  • Help them with retirement. In fact, without a 401K plan you may have difficulty hiring/keeping the best people. If your staff is small, consider alternatives like SEP IRAs.
  • Make training available so employees can learn new skills and trends in dentistry or encourage them to go to trade shows and conferences to keep up to date.

Form a Strong Team

Strengthen the bond between your front desk staff and other team members with these activities. 

  • Take your team out to lunch, organize potluck luncheons, or enjoy an annual picnic.
  • Get everyone together after work for happy hours (let them know it’s okay to stop by for however long they have).
  • Treat employees to an annual holiday party.
  • Host a staff retreat or other team-building event.

Bonus Idea

Everyone likes a discount. Partner with local businesses so they give your dental staff discounts in return for you offering their employees discounts. This increases business for everyone, raises the profile of your practice, and builds your reputation in the community. It’s a solid leadership move.

You don’t want to just keep your business open. You want to build a solid team that works better every year. And you can do this with the correct leadership in your dental staff. 

You’ll have time to build that team and enjoy a more successful practice if you lead in a way that fosters employee satisfaction, keeps morale up, and shows your staff you value them.

Click here to learn more ideas on how to keep your dental staff happy.

Want to learn more about the In Hand Dental app and how it can make your dental staff leadership easier? Go to our Contact Page and set up a time to book a free demo today!