Three Horror Stories Every Dental Employer Could Probably Live Without….

One of the joys of Business Ownership is the management of people.

And with twenty to twenty five percent of our collections going towards salaries and wages of non-dentist employees, that’s a big chunk of overhead right there.

That needs to be managed.

It’s a sad implication of today’s society that there does not seem to be a happy medium in employment.

Who’d be a boss for quids these days?

Everywhere you look there’s people looking at employment as just something to do for a while.

And not as a career.

It’s temporary.

It’s between vacations.

What happened to the days when a career was a career?

When you chose it as a profession or a vocation that you wanted to pursue for a lifetime?

No matter what?


In the old days, working in a Dental Office was considered to be a noble career.

Assisting the doctor, and being part of a respected vocation, had kudos among family and friends.

But not any more.

Nowadays it just seems like dentistry, and Dental Assisting in particular, are just career afterthoughts.

And as a result, we don’t seem to be attracting the “lifers”.

Dentistry does not appear to be attracting those school leavers who want a long term, lifetime career, usually in a local community, working in one of the local Dental Offices, which have been long-term businesses in that community.

It now seems that school leavers have so many more paths or options to choose from that dental assisting is now way down there on the long list of vocational choices.

Almost like a last resort, even?

And maybe it’s down the list because it’s perceived as not being a temporary career alternative?

The result is, across the board, that it’s getting harder and harder to find and locate good numbers of good quality applicants for ancillary team members.

Are you finding this in your community?

How do you source staff and potential staff members?

I’d like to share three recent stories, all true, which have come across my desk in recent times.

The first story I heard was about a school nearby to my home that was teaching pupils there how to file and lodge an Unfair Dismissal Claim through the correct and appropriate channels.

I heard this from one parent who works for a private company in their Human Resources department, and spends most of his days dealing with exaggerated frivolous claims in his organisation.

In fact the parent challenged the purpose of this specific education, and let the teacher know that he thought it would be more appropriate for his daughter to be learning, in the first instance, how to find a job, how to apply for a job, how to present well for an interview, and how to keep a job.

Seems to me to be sadly a case of the world gone mad.

Secondly, in a real live case of the world gone mad, I heard with good authority of a Dental Office where one employee had discovered that another employee had been downloading personal documents and information onto office computers.

Now when that happens, that’s a breach of Office Policy, that’s for sure.

In this case, the documents involved were airline tickets for that staff member to be travelling on a day in the near future that she was meant to be at work, and on a day that she had not applied for as annual leave.

When the Dental Office asked for clarification the employee immediately sought “stress leave” and threatened legal action.

Best part of the story?

The stressed dental employee on stress leave was spotted temping at another Dental Office on her first day of stress leave!!

Can you imagine?

You can’t make this stuff up!!

Finally, I heard of another Dental Office where a recently employed hygienist kept failing to complete essential tasks within her job role in the office.
Simple repeatable tasks, like scheduling her patients’ ongoing visits, were being conveniently forgotten on repeated occasions hourly, and daily. Day in and day out.

And I use the word “forgotten” politely here.

Because the dentist and her other team members truly felt that this hygienist was really just pushing the envelope.

To see how long it would take….for someone else in the office to “accept” that she just wasn’t capable of reliably performing this simple task, and taking it over themselves.

Sadly, when you read these three tales, and when you hear about them first hand, you pray that they are only isolated instances….

But deep down, you know, that it’s probably the start, or the continuation of, something worse to come.

For employers…



Correct hiring is one of the many modules that comprise The Ultimate Patient Experience is a simple to build complete Customer Service system in itself that I developed that allowed me to create an extraordinary dental office in an ordinary Sydney suburb. If you’d like to know more, ask me about my free special report.

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