How to leverage today’s market conditions for growth while elevating your team.
By J.W. Oliver, Managing Partner for SupportDDS.com
2020 brought changes the world has never seen, and we are confident we will never see again! The facts of 2022 and into 2023 are overwhelming in the hiring difficulties and lack of resources/human capital!
“Every difficulty always presents an amazing opportunity!” – Anonymous
The past two years have seen a great many changes happening worldwide as individuals and companies alike responded to the pandemic and the fallout that came with it. Problems such as staffing shortages and stressful working conditions at first appeared to be superficial with the annual resignation rate peaking at 42.2 million in 2019. The difficulties appeared to have lessened when the 2020 resignation rate declined to roughly 35.8 million as people chose to stay at their places of work due to the uncertainty and financial fears brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the work from home phenomenon soon stabilized and created its own challenges within the employment field. With the immediate dangers of COVID-19 having all but disappeared in the USA, the resignation rate rose to an alarming 47.2 million in 2021 and rising.
Staffing shortages are one of the major issues facing the dental industry. Practices saw an overwhelming rise in demand for both health and cosmetic services as soon as the pandemic began to ease, leading to an estimated 25% shortfall in dental staffing. Organizations that refused to take note of and act upon employment issues were the hardest hit. This contributed to the estimated 1.4 million workers in the healthcare industry who voluntarily quit their jobs. While this widened the resource gap, it has proven to be a great opportunity for practices and individuals to “shake things up” and adopt changes that were needed by the dental industry, just not yet embraced. (Ironic how a pandemic became the mother of necessity.)
Remote/Virtual Team Members
One innovative and welcome change is the global expansion of the current resource pool to include highly skilled/educated workers based in different geographical locations through what we’ve termed as “Insourcing”. SupportDDS has leveraged the university educated, “Queen’s English” speaking resources in Zimbabwe, Africa to make a true global impact in the dental community.
Insourcing is our proven method of solving open/under-resourced positions in dental practices and DSO organizations who might otherwise still be reeling from team member shortages that have been exacerbated during the past 2+ years. It serves as a channel to update traditional working structures to a more innovative/progressive and cost-efficient format that other industries have utilized for decades. Insourcing focuses on getting the right people, in the right seats, working on specific tasks that have been under-resourced by internal teams who can now focus on high priority tasks and duties. This “elevates” your team to focus on the roles that render the highest ROI and guest(patient) care.
Organizations now have the option to streamline their operations with pre-trained/qualified individuals tackling the tasks they were best suited to perform. This is a welcome change to absorb tasks like insurance verifications, EOB’s, billing and collections, scheduling, hygiene recare, bookkeeping, and our all-time favorite Director of First Impressions (new guest/patient calls).
Insourcing brings the ability to find immediately trained and qualified team members, (from initial call to start date in as little as 5 business days), while reducing the overhead and associated compensation costs estimated at up to a 60% savings. This is even a greater savings/percentage when you factor in office space, IT equipment hard costs, healthcare costs, leave time, vacation, etc.
Opportunity for Upgraded Culture
Many factors encouraged more progressive practices to review the work-from-home environments. Dental practices that had traditionally hired team members to report physically to work, now embraced remote options. These organizations became more attractive to team members who may have otherwise left for more flexible working conditions. Apart from virtual working conditions, partial work-from-home scheduling also lessened the stress and pressures that were causing some of the voluntary resignations. These events make one thing clear, traditional working setups no longer work as well as they did in prior decades. People now demand greater flexibility from their employment options, while exercising their power to get the best work-life-balance possible.
The Great Resignation has served to clarify the misconception that money solves all. Skilled workers want to be remunerated in accordance with their qualifications, but many other factors influence their choices; family, stress, faith values, and how short life really is are just a few.
What’s the Way Forward?
Workplace flexibility and willingness to use technological solutions such as remote/virtual teams, (Insourcing with SupportDDS.com) can be used to offset the rising costs and staffing shortages.
Time will tell which organizations will rise above the “Great Resignation” and turn it into an opportunity to leverage growth and elevate their teams.