Communication is key for fulfilling your career potential
Job satisfaction in dentistry is as much about fulfilling career potential as it is delivering quality patient care. Having access to different opportunities to progress your skills and feed your passion is crucial. This is true for all members of the dental team.
Know your options
Christina Regan, HR People Partner, shares insight into what she thinks are the greatest challenges in this area right now.
“We asked our people about what their priorities were in terms of where they work,” she says. “Career progression, belief in the company’s culture and values, and a quality senior management team came out on top. When looking at career progression, the biggest challenge is often knowing what opportunities are available to develop skills and fulfil career potential.
“Take dental nurses as an example. Many are unaware of the many options available to them beyond their initial nursing qualification. However, there are plenty of options for progression with additional courses, including radiography or impression taking, to name a few that we provide in-house. For all members of the team from dentists to hygienists and receptionists, there are always ways to learn new things and broaden skills. The benefit of working within a larger organisation like ours is that there are so many more dental nursing avenues to pursue, all at your fingertips.”
Christina adds: “In order for your teams to find these opportunities, communication is so important. Whether that is via electronic and accessible pathways, or by people simply talking. When your engaged workforce talks openly about their aspirations, it helps in giving everyone the mind-set that they can absolutely fulfil their career ambitions, whatever they may be. As a HR team, we focus on the best ways to get this information out there and accessible. That’s where the HR team at Rodericks is always looking to improve communication with our practice teams. We’re spreading the word about the training and career development opportunities available to all members of staff. In doing so, we hope to increase engagement and help individuals fulfil their career potential.”
Anyone who has worked within the dental profession for a few years will be aware of the large amount of paperwork that is required. It is a vital and compulsory element of every dental practice, but it can be time-consuming. This can affect professionals’ happiness at work as it takes away time that could otherwise be spent developing their skills. As a result, minimising the time spent on paperwork is one way that Christina and her team are supporting practice teams.
“Healthcare is highly regulated, so there’s no getting around some of the paperwork,” she says. “However, other documents can be completed electronically. By the end of this year, we will have replaced around 20,000 sheets of paper from our practices with electronic alternatives, which is an incredible outcome for having made just a few small changes so far. This benefits our people by giving them more time to spend with patients and on bettering themselves. It’s also a positive step forwards for our environmental impact. It’s important to try not to be afraid of embracing new ways of working, especially if you feel it will have a positive impact on your practice teams.”
Fulfil your career potential
We all know that creating and maintaining an effective Personal Development Plan (PDP) will help professionals tailor their learning experience to their specific needs. But what advice would Christina have from a HR perspective to help professionals fulfil their career potential?
“It’s simple, but communication is key,” she says. “Know what you want to achieve, what sparks passion and drives you. Then seek out how you can achieve it, in ways as simple as talking to people. Speak to your manager, practice colleagues or peers in other dental communities. You will soon find a learning opportunity that’s right for you.”