One of the best ways to attract and retain high performing team members is to make sure leaders and team members are on the same page and speaking the same language. Practice owners and team members speak two different languages. What's important to one is not that important to the other and vice versa.

We decided to survey practice owners and team members through surveys in two dental Facebook groups. One group was full of dental team members, and the other group was full of dentists. The polls asked members of each community what they thought was most important in attracting and retaining high-performing team members.

These were four options that were voted on in both groups, with different results, and both polls created engaging discussions.

Competitive Pay

Offering less pay than what your competitors offer is going to make anyone think twice about applying. Poor pay is going to make it tough to get a high-performing team member to even consider working at your practice. Your job offer has to be tempting in the first place if you want to attract any potential hire, let-alone a high-performing one. Offering a good income is a big component of that. If you offer minimum wage, they're going to want to look elsewhere. You'd have to be lucky for them to choose your practice when they'll make less money than they could if they worked at the practice down the street.

And without competitive pay, chances are none of your team members are going to want to stick around for long. Once they get a job offer at the practice down the street and it boasts a higher wage, they’ll likely walk down the street for more money. A high-performing team member is likely going to get quite a few job offers—they'll be highly sought after.

You must pay competitively if you want to keep any team member around. Especially high-performing team members. Great staff is hard to find. Pay them well and pay them generously. Doing so makes it much harder to leave and you'll have less staffing headaches as a result.

Health Insurance

Health insurance can be costly. When you pay for the premium (or most of it), then employees aren’t going to want to leave you. Getting their health insurance paid for is a benefit that's in their best interests.

But, in one dental professional’s experience, “99% of new young employees will pick the job offer that pays $50/hr over one that pays $46/hr but $5/hr in benefits. Health care benefits may help to attract the older employee pool.”

Another dental professional agreed, “Our experience only, but we have found that millennial employees typically care most about salary and PTO. But older employees care more about salary and health.”

So, if your high-performing employees are on the older side, then health insurance can be a great way to keep them around.

Paid Time Off

Your high-performing team members might act like machines when it comes to productivity. But they’re still human. They have desires to have fun or spend time with their family just like anybody else. They can always ask for time off to take a break from work and go out to live the life they want to live. But oftentimes an employee is going to feel uncomfortable telling their boss that they want time off. They might feel shy to ask to go on a week-long trip with their kids to an island in the Caribbean.

If you offer paid time off, they’ll appreciate the recognition by you that their personal desires matter. They’ll know they have a pool of days to choose from to explore their personal desires. It’s a great way to please your employees and keep them happy. Keeping them happy makes them want to stick around as your team member.

Retirement Plan(s)

You can offer an assortment of retirement plans from 401k, 403b, IRAs, pensions, and so on. They all have advantages and differences in taxes and costs. It's up to you to do some research before you choose what retirement plan is optimal for your practice.

Whichever plan works best, these can be a great way to take care of high-performing team members. A retirement plan is both attractive to them when they’re looking for a job and incentivizes them to work for you for as long as they can.

What are you doing to attract and retain high-performing team members?

Different people prefer different incentives, so the best way for you might be to ask your best team members what they like best about your practice and would love to help improve. Their answer might surprise you. 

What do your best team members love about your practice? Do you offer any of these benefits? Or do you do something else, such as time off without pay, flexible hours, training opportunities, or advancement paths with incentives? 

And join the Dental Hub 360 and Trapped in an OP Facebook groups to connect with dental professionals from around the world and immerse yourself in an uplifting community.