Dental practices are no different from other businesses. Managing dental practices is quite similar to managing small and large businesses. Dentists have unique skills that allow them to excel in their fields. However, running the practice, managing accounts, people, software, inventory, stocks, and patients can become quite overwhelming. For this reason, there is a need for good, reliable, and experienced staff.
Dental practices in the UK have strict requirements about the three-year NHS inspection, maintenance of HR records, policy manuals, recruitment policies, and more. While there are many other third-party regulations that you need to look at, the HR aspects involved in dental practices should not be ignored.
Let us look at some of the HR involved in dental practices and how you should inculcate it to run a successful business.
The first part of successful HR management is ensuring you hire experienced staff for the dental practice. You can rest assured that all coordination with patients, dental instrument suppliers, key stakeholders, and other doctors will be done correctly with good quality, professional staff.
Factoring the recruitment into the initial business plan, making an employee manual, and ensuring adequate training is provided will help you remain compliant with the NHS regulations. It will also help protect you in case of future lawsuits or grievances.
Human Resource Policies:
The NHS has strict standards about HR policies and maintenance of manuals. However, you should not consider using and maintaining these policies just because the NHS demands them. NHS conducts a routine three-yearly inspection. If you do not follow strict HR policies and standards, with incident reports, salary slips, compliance paperwork and more, you could be facing intense scrutiny and perhaps, even fines.
By following human resource policies and paperwork, you would ensure that the dental practice is protected and all employees are treated fairly. Doing this also helps avoid lawsuits in the future. If you are meticulous about maintaining records, following protocol, and ensuring correct documentation, you can build an outstanding practice with happy and helpful employees.
Appraisals and Recognition:
Employee feedback, recognitions, rewards, and appraisals help motivate and encourage the workforce. This is also true for staff in dental practices. Employees like knowing that they are valued by their employers and recognized for the hard work into the daily grind. Praise, appreciation letters and a favourable appraisal helps them understand they are contributing to the business.
The appraisal process is also extremely useful in identifying issues, deficiencies, and non-performing individuals in the workforce. With the help of the business appraisal and self-appraisal process, dental practice owners can also determine the skills gaps, knowledge issues, and re-training needs of employees.
Employee law in the UK also needs documentation evidence of appraisals and assessments. Doing this also provides legal protection in case of lawsuits due to performance monitoring.
Disciplinary issues and grievance redressal should be of prime concern to owners in the UK. Most employees file formal grievance issues due to disciplinary actions. It is necessary to have all the documentation and paperwork ready per the employment laws in the UK. Most dental practices outsource a part of the legal documentation to professionals and experts to assist with compliance.
Some of the issues that employees may bring up are unhygienic working conditions, incorrect termination of a contract, unlawful working practices, poor customer service, harassment, etc.
While having an awkward conversation is something everyone avoids, having timely reminders and addressing issues with an open mind can ease the strain of some disciplinary matters. Addressing these issues transparently and in an unbiased manner will help keep all employees happy about the process.
Working in a dental practice involves long hours, dealing with patients in pain, and also ensuring the safety of everyone. There could be many issues arising out of stress, and the health risk to employees is the greatest one. When considering the pressure that employees may be under, it is best to conduct timely risk assessments and have a strict stress management policy with mandatory days off, paid leave, and more to ensure that all the workers can manage their stress.
Developing a good stress management framework will help nurture confidence in employees, allow them to manage their time correctly, and come to you with any issues about the working conditions, policies, patients, organizational concerns, and more. Nurturing solid relations with employees and ensuring they are protected legally will help increase job satisfaction, reduce attrition, and increase productivity in the long term.