The Impact of Employee Turnover!
The impact of employee turnover is more than just money. Employee turnover takes a huge toll on the patients, practice and the team by negatively impacting patient experience, practice culture, team performance and the bottom line.
The definition of employee turnover in HR terms – employee turnover is a measurement of how long your employees stay with your company and how often you have to replace them. Any time an employee leaves your practice, for any reason, they are called a turnover. You can calculate your annual employee turnover % by dividing the annual employee turnover number by total number of team members.
So what is the impact of employee turnover? Let’s start with the bottom line.
Losing only one mid-level employee that is paid $30 per hour and works 32 hours per week (annual salary of $49,920) can cost your practice anywhere from $24,960 to $99,840 in recruiting and training expenses. This dollar range represents a 6 to 24 months’ salary range of the mid-level employee. You won’t see it as a separate line item on the P & L. However, trust me it is there…hidden in reduced production and collection numbers.
I ask you to think about the last person you hired on your team. How long did it take to you to hire? Where you successful on the first hire or did you need to rehire? How long did it take to train your new team member to a level of proficiency where they understood office protocols and could perform all aspects of their job? Six months in most cases is not a realistic expectation. The more detailed the position the longer it takes the more it impacts the bottom line. When I worked as a practice administrator at a periodontal practice we found that the average training time to be proficient was two years. Even very highly skilled and trained team members where not capable of just stepping in at the same level of performance. They still required a minimum of 6 months training to learn our office systems, protocols and culture.
Employee turnover affects patient experience. Your patients come to your dental office expecting to see the same faces. When there is constant turnover it creates feelings of doubt and discomfort. Patients are reassured when the person they expect to greet them is there to greet them by name and a warm hello as they walk through the door. Patients often build stronger relationships with the team than they do the doctor because they spend more time getting to know them. Patients often look to team members to reinforce the necessity of treatment. If you question this statement ask your clinical and non-clinical team if they have ever been asked by a patient; do I really need this treatment or would you do this treatment? High turnover results in declining trust and case acceptance.
Employee turnover affects team morale and performance. Most dental practices don’t have spare team members just waiting to pick up the slack. Which means that an existing team member has to spend a large portion of their time training the new team member. In most cases the team member was already working at capacity yet is expected to fit in the training and still perform at the same level. Very few practices adjust their scheduling to accommodate the training process. The added pressure spawns a culture of high stress, low morale and less than performance. In practices where there is consistent turnover there is very little desire to train the new team member. The mindset I often encounter is; why bother…after all they will just be leaving soon anyway. Even a high-performing culture is at the mercy of turmoil from turnover.
Employee turnover affects practice culture. Dentistry is a very small world and people talk. High turnover practices very quickly get a bad reputation in the dental community. The quality of team members they are able to attract and retain is limited. After a while they attract only those employees who can’t find a job anywhere else. OR they end up offering excessive wages to attract applicants and are still not able to retain them; resulting more turmoil and turnover.
Here are some ways to lower turnover in your workplace:
– Interview and vet applicants for character traits, attitude and skill sets as well as fit with the practice culture, managers and co-workers.
– Set comparable compensation and benefit packages with industry standard. Review compensation and benefits packages at least annually.
– Show respect and recognition to employees. Awards, recognition and praise might just be the single most cost-effective way to maintain a happy, healthy and high-performing practice culture.
– Create a positive practice culture with room to learn and grow.
– Keep employees in the loop and informed about future growth and how they can get there. Annual reviews or midyear check-ins are important; also encourage workers to come to you with career questions and goals throughout the year.
I also invite you to read August and September’s blog to learn even more about how you can transform a high turnover practice culture with high stressed under-performers into a low turnover practice culture with engaged high-performers!
Contact Judy Kay at JudyKay@PracticeSolutionsInc.net today if you want to learn how she can help you build a cohesive team that support each other and the practice, become better leaders, and deliver service with more focus and passion!