Flexibility is a trait that businesses adopt to survive industry challenges. When it comes to turnover rates, most dental teams rank at the 10% mark. As many dental leaders will tell you, turnover costs are hefty. Replacing administrative members, for example, could cost you anywhere from over 17,000 to more than $70,000. The loss of productivity that comes with turnover is a significant concern. Many practices have turned to dental temping and flexible staffing to ease their burdens and counteract turnover worries.

Dental owners and team members must navigate their work-life balance at home while implementing new workflows and virtual appointments. As a solution, dental temping has benefitted practices looking for people to cover staffing holes. For years, dental practices have hired temporary clinical staff. However, professionals have increasingly been considering dental temping as a career path, with temp staff members called in to fill hygienist, assistant, and administrative roles to cover shifts left open due to staffing departures, vacations, or maternity/paternity leave. Here is how dental companies are successfully utilizing their dental temp staff. 

Inclusivity Is Key 

Dental companies are being open-minded when considering temping candidates to fill necessary roles. Temporary dental staff members are extensions of a dental team, not just fill-ins. Dental companies are hiring people from various backgrounds to fill roles. As soon as they hire these people, they immediately make them feel as if they’re a vital part of their respective teams. 

Dental practices try to get the most out of their dental temp staff by integrating them into social activities and making them feel welcome as they get used to their new surroundings. Whether it’s inviting temp staff members for coffee, welcoming them for work functions, or having one-on-ones with members to learn more about them, dental practices are going out of their way to make temporary staffers feel comfortable with their teams. Whether these members work for one or multiple shifts, dental practices are going out of their way to make temp staff feel like they belong.

Optimizing Workflows 

Improving workflows makes the transition easier for dental temps

Dental companies have also been doing their best to streamline and optimize workflows to accommodate their temporary and permanent staff. This helps ensure that every operatory has a similar setup and supplies, especially when op switches are required at the last moment. 

Dental practices are starting to integrate electronic health records, capture individual data fields and use customized clinical templates within a structured database. With an EHR system, there are comprehensive and accessible real-time research data and analytics assessing patient care. Dental businesses are also using dashboards to streamline their training systems and using automation to improve the quality of their workflow functions.

By optimizing workflows, dental temping staff gradually adapt to their new environment and grasp the systems and practices used for daily operations. Even things like improving traffic flow in different areas of a dental practice make life easier for temporary employees. Dental temping becomes more of a go-to strategy, knowing you have a system in place that’s easy for new hires to follow once they come in and start their respective tenures. 

Providing an ‘Anchor’ to Help Dental Temping Staff Adjust 

Dental businesses are accelerating the adjustment process by assigning anchors to help them get used to their new surroundings. When starting a job, new staffers could use some guidance so they don’t feel lost on the first day of work. To alleviate the shyness often associated with the first days for new staffers, dental practices assign a team member to meet with temping staff, show them around the practice facilities, and introduce them to fellow team members. 

Having an anchorperson on the dental team ready to work with dental temping staff is important because temps are used to several ‘first days’ and career transitions. They may feel like they’re floundering in their surroundings as they take on new positions. With an anchor, temping staff learn how to use systems and tools while also having someone ready to answer all their questions as they adjust to their new stomping grounds. Though the best anchors are people who are (or at one point were) temporary staff members. Assigning anyone highly familiar with how the dental practice operates helps ease the transition for new team members. 

By Simply Listening to Suggestions

Dental temp staff can make recommendations to improve daily operations

Dental temping staff may be temporary, but they still have a lot to offer to a practice.

Several temporary dental staff members will tell you that within the first few hours of working at a dental practice. They can offer useful pointers to the practice to help them improve their workflow efficiency and bottom line. They’re able to spread this knowledge. Dental staff have seen the best and worst of what occurs during daily operations. They can provide feedback about their experiences elsewhere and make suggestions for improvement. Temporary staff members can recommend products to help their practices serve their patients better. Dental temp staff can be great assets to dental owners by providing tips that improve their productivity. 

Dental Temping for the Win

Temporary staffers offer useful information that benefits how practices operate. As a result, dental leaders follow up with them constantly to strike a strong and amicable working relationship. Building this kind of relationship elicits trust. In addition, temp workers grow accustomed to their surroundings. They might be more likely to stick around after their contract is up. A few short thank yous can do the trick. Dental leaders can also tell them about positive patient feedback from their interactions with temp staffers. Lastly, dental owners can ask for feedback on employees’ patient care and working conditions. 

Temping can ease the burden of dental turnover. How dental businesses utilize temporary staff will ensure they can return to pre-pandemic productivity levels. For all your temping needs, TempStars is ready and willing to help your practice address staffing concerns. Sign up with us for free and learn more about our services.