I don’t need to tell you how gruelling the last few years have been work-wise. Many of us had to continue working throughout a global pandemic - those who didn’t may have faced the potential loss of our careers.
As a practice owner, whether your practice survived the pandemic, you will have likely contemplated its collapse amidst the chaos that was (and continues to be) Covid-19. So, is it any surprise that we’re all at least somewhat exhausted?
This fact lies at the heart of the latest employment trend: quiet quitting. It seems to be the phrase on everybody’s lips right now, but what does it mean? What implications does it have for you and your practice? And crucially, how can you avoid it?
Burnout levels are higher than ever amongst dental professionals post-pandemic. Factors like increased patient caseloads, extended opening hours, and a rise in negligence claims have led to feelings of exhaustion and, namely, reduced productivity - this is the very essence of quiet quitting.
The phrase relates to an attitude to work. One where employees no longer take on responsibilities above and beyond the scope of their role, only work their allotted hours and do the bare minimum required of them.
Of course, you might think: ‘but why should my employees do more than they’re contractually obliged to?’. They shouldn’t, but when an employee starts to quit quietly, the first thing to do is their enthusiasm for the job. And I’ll bet an unenthusiastic team member won’t go down well with patients.
If you’ve noticed an employee...
· Taking on less responsibility
· Failing to attend team meetings or events
· Disengaging from conversations with patients and colleagues
· Becoming less flexible
...then chances are they’re feeling burnt out.
If you spot these signs, you should take time to evaluate the root cause of the issue. It might be something entirely out of your control, such as an event in their personal life - but how can you support your team members if you aren’t aware of the issues affecting their work? Try and speak to them to ascertain what’s wrong and extend a helping hand in any way you can.
Alternatively, the issue could be closer to work than home. If your employee tells you that their work is becoming overwhelming or they’re unhappy with an aspect of their job, you should try to make reasonable adjustments to improve their work-life balance and cater for their well-being.
If you’re concerned that quiet quitting is becoming an issue at your practice, get in touch with me to set up a call. I can advise you on techniques to improve staff morale and productivity and give you tips for coping with burnt-out staff.