Dental Performance Reviews: 6 Criteria to Gauge Your Employees' Growth

Posted by D. Scott Fehrs, ChFC® on Aug 2, 2021 9:00:00 AM

As a dental practice owner, one of the areas you'll focus on is the growth of your employees. 

Whether you have just a couple of employees or a large practice with numerous workers, it's important for every one of those employees to grow based on their responsibilities and job titles. Not only is that growth good for the health and future of your practice, but it's also good for your patients, you, and the workers themselves. Employees who see room for growth and development are more likely to work harder, and do more for the patients of your dental practice.

No one really wants to stagnate at a job where they just do the same thing forever, without any opportunity for growth and development. A good dental performance review can get employees on the right track and help them see any areas where they might need to make adjustments for the future. 

If you're not sure what they need to change, it's likely that they don't know, either. Here are six criteria you can use to gauge their growth.

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1. Accountability

Being accountable for their actions is vital for every employee you have at your dental practice. When completing an employee's dental performance review, think carefully about whether that employee accepts responsibility for their part in any successes and failures. 

Naturally, most employees want to take credit for the successes they've enjoyed, but taking ownership of their failures is also a very important part of growing as an employee and a person. An honest employee who can admit to their mistakes and focus on how they're going to make changes going forward can be a valuable asset to a dental practice.

2. Representation

All your employees should represent the values and priorities of your practice. They may find different ways to do that, and they might all have some unique style, but they also need to make sure they're not making your dental practice look bad. What they have on their social media, if they're listing you as an employer, and how they represent themselves to the world, in person and outside of work, all matter. You shouldn't try to control an employee's personal life, but you can impress upon them the value of representing themselves and your practice appropriately.

3. Knowledge

Becoming an expert in their responsibilities should be something all your employees strive for. As you work through a dental performance review for each one of your employees, consider how much knowledge they have. Naturally, that will be different for employees who have been with you for a long period of time, as opposed to newer employees. 

You can't expect every employee to know everything about your practice, but employees should continue to gain knowledge over time. If they're not making any effort to become more knowledgeable about their duties, that's something worth considering.

4. Attitude

In a service business like the dental industry, employees need to be personable to both patients and coworkers. Sometimes that's challenging, as personalities can clash. Additionally, some patients and employees are simply more difficult to get along with than others. A very outspoken patient, for example, might be intimidating to a shy or quiet employee. Your employees shouldn't be expected to take any kind of abuse or bullying, from coworkers or patients, but they should be expected to make a fair and reasonable effort to get along with others.

5. Safety

Every employee should take their safety, and that of their coworkers and patients, very seriously. All the necessary safety measures need to be followed by everyone, all the time. That's even more important during the pandemic, but shouldn't be ignored or relaxed even in the best of times. 

Because dental work can potentially put people at risk for infection and disease, making sure to follow proper safety protocols is a vital part of working in a dental practice. A performance review should take that into account, as employees who aren't willing to follow correct procedures could be putting themselves and others at risk.

6. Learning

Learning what they need to know and showing the initiative to do more than what's actually required of them can be a very important way for employees of a dental practice to show their value. During an employee's dental performance review, think carefully about whether the employee you're reviewing is doing that or not. 

While it's not fair to expect employees to devote their entire life to your dental practice, their interest in learning and doing more is worth noting. Employees who are curious, and those who want to cross-train for other duties, can be highly valuable for any dental practice and its patients.

People Management Matters

Managing people the right way matters. At Treloar & Heisel, we know how important it is for everyone in a dental practice to work together. Our HR guide is a good place to start, so you can operate your dental practice efficiently and effectively, and all your employees can explore their personal and professional growth, as well. 

As you move through performance reviews, you may find that some employees are better suited to your practice than others. But small adjustments may improve what other employees bring to the table. The more you know about people management, the more you can keep your practice operating smoothly.

Helping people stay focused on their jobs, getting them interested in learning more about their working environment, and encouraging them to grow and develop in their careers are all significant areas of human resources management. 

As a dentist, HR may not be your job. But if you have a small practice without an HR person or department, that focus may fall to you. Talking to your employees about their needs and interests, along with addressing any issues from their performance reviews, can help all of you work together to make your dental practice a better one for you, your employees, and your patients.

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Treloar & Heisel and Treloar & Heisel Property and Casualty are divisions of Treloar & Heisel, LLC.

Insurance products are offered through Treloar & Heisel, LLC.

Treloar & Heisel, LLC. does not offer human resources advice. This content is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as advice.

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Topics: Dental Practice Business Tips