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Episode 575: Today’s Work Trends (PTO, Benefits, More)

benefits pto Sep 13, 2022

Kiera is joined by Dental A-Team traveling consultant Brit to talk about the new age of hiring employees, and what they’re looking for in terms of PTO, benefits, work-life balance, and more. In this episode, the pair discusses how employers juggle what today’s incoming employees are looking for, and what solutions the DAT consultants are helping implement in practices all over the country.

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0:00:05.6 Kiera Dent: Hey everyone, welcome to the Dental A Team podcast. I'm your host, Kiera Dent, and I have this crazy idea that maybe I could combine a doctor and a team member's perspective, because let's face it, dentistry can be a challenging profession with those two perspectives. I've been a dental assistant, treatment coordinator, scheduler, filler, office manager, regional manager, practice owner and I have a team of traveling consultants where we have traveled to over a 165 different offices coaching teams. Yep, we just don't understand you, we are you. Our mission is to positively impact the world of dental, and I believe that this podcast is the greatest way I can help elevate teams, grow VIP experiences, reduce stress, and create A teams. Welcome to the Dental A Team podcast.

0:00:51.8 KD: Hello, Dental A Team listeners. This is Kiera, I am car casting, and the one and only Brit Stone, decided to keep me company and podcast with me. So Brit, one of our fantastic traveling consultants, How are you today?

0:01:04.9 Brit Stone: I'm doing great. How are you doing, just driving along there?

0:01:09.1 KD: You know, I'm pretty good actually. I was looking for the cable to connect to my phone to do the call with you, and it was really hard to find. I'm only doing 83 right now, and I was like, If I go out, like just listen to the podcast, like that's clearly what I was talking about right before I died. That was the thought I had. I was like, I should just pull over. No podcast is worth it, but you know... So I'm actually great. It's a good day. Finished two offices, headed to my third one this week, and you know, just another day in the life of a traveling consultant, which I know, you know.

0:01:42.4 BS: For sure. It's always fun. We'll just let everybody know now, you've got it all set up, so you're safely driving now while you talk.

0:01:50.8 KD: Exactly, 100%. So Brit, I think we have a pretty fun topic. I know you're a little short on time, I've got all the time in the world over here, but to make sure we get it, because I know you've got a call today, I wanted to dive into something that you had on one of your coaching calls today that you were talking about, of like, what is PTO and packages, and you and I were even talking about this just for ourselves as a company of like, What does the new employee model look like? I think there's the... Not old as in age old, but just the different style of life and living and what people are looking for from before, and I think Brit, you and I might even be in the category of before to the newer team members coming in and what are they looking at what are the PTO, what are the benefits like what have you seen as being a manager as being one of these millennials that are growing up that aren't the young group, there's new gen X and different ones, what are you seeing as the trend of work ethic things they are wanting, because I feel like it's a really different world. And how we're hiring is much different than what we're hiring even pre-covid...

0:02:57.4 BS: Yeah, I think there's been a big shift, and I think people have seen it, and I think some of us had taken it more, as like, Oh my gosh, there just aren't great people out there, when instead there's still a lot of great people out there. I think the priorities are just a little bit different, and that dreaded balance word, that work-life balance has shifted a little bit to where people value greatly, having that time outside of work to spend with their families or whatever they want to do outside of work. And they're not quite as willing to sacrifice it as they once were, to quote a doctor I recently spoke to, it's like as if, like people don't need to make money to make a living, and I'm like, Well, they still need to make money to make a living. But I think they've also learned kind of through COVID times, that maybe they don't need it as much as they thought they did, or they don't need as much money as they thought they did, and so we've kinda gotta re-evaluate to be able to give them the things that are reasonable for the business and can attract the team members we want and give them that kind of work-life balance that they're looking for and chosen that, Yep. We value the things that you value as well...

0:04:12.6 KD: For sure. And I think that that's something that I've even looked at. So I would ask Brit, you are coming from the side of team member of coaching a lot of offices. What is it that employers are looking for, 'cause I would agree. It kind of feels like people don't really need to work, there is more money in the economy, inflation is sky high. But like you said, I do believe that new team members coming into the workforce, the new generations coming in, they are not looking to build the 401ks and have the houses and have the retirement plans, they are literally living in the moment as things... What are you starting to see of PTO and time off when they're really valuing more of that, I think it's more on the life balance then the work where I think before it was more a work than a life.

0:05:00.2 KD: Like the 40-day work week came from a long time ago. Like that was just to make up for assembly lines and all that, so it's kind of an older model, but what are you seeing or what are you hearing offices or what's even your perspective on what the new... The new generations are looking for as far as having that work-life balance, having more time off, like how do you even juggle that as an employer with patients that need to be seen, because on the flip side, there are patients who equally want work-life balance and don't wanna show up until after work, 'cause they don't wanna miss work, so it's kind of like this whole weird dichotomy of employees and patients, what have you seen as some solutions?

0:05:35.2 BS: Yeah, so I think some things that I've seen are, for me as a manager or thinking as a business owner, I wanna develop a policy and time off, PTO, a lot of people will group it together, so... Great, if you stay healthy, it's not sick time, it's just all in one bucket, so the healthier you stay, the more time you have available to use it for fun things... For fun time off. So that's one thing I think that I've seen is people in grouping that PTO sick time all in one, if your state allows it to be that way, so they can use that time, and I think having some structure around it, even for some offices for the sake of the business, I have even done it to where there's PTO time, and then to be a little more flexible, since team members may not care quite as much about like, Oh, if I don't get paid, no big deal. I'll also kinda give them a certain amount of time that they can take... That's non-paid, so it allows a little bit more flexibility, so it's not like they can just take time off whenever they want to and not get paid for it, there's some structure around it for the sake of the business to where you can still create a maximum amount of time, which between paid time and non-paid time that they can take off.

0:06:52.6 BS: So that's one thing I've seen. And I think another big piece of it for team members is kind of our culture around it as well, to where we can create the culture of team members don't feel bad when they need to take time off. So like, Hey, if I've got an appointment or I've got something to do and I've got that PTO. I don't wanna feel guilted or feel bad when I'm actually gonna use it, so I think that's a second piece of it as well.

0:07:22.0 KD: Are you guys sick of trying to figure it out on your own? I know I am, when I'm trying to run a business. Sometimes I just think there's got to be a better way to do this, and so for me, my answer has been to find someone who's done it and does it really, really, really well, like I'm talking the best of the best of the best. I want someone who's been in my shoes, somebody who understands what I'm going through. When I was looking for the consulting business, I found a coach who literally has run a consulting business. Well, that seemed like the perfect fit. So you guys right now, we have a few spaces open in our platinum consulting. That is in the consulting where we actually come to your practice, we help you get systems implemented, we don't just tell you what system to implement, we actually implement them with you and for you. Guys, it is one of the best investments I've ever made is to hire a coach who understands the business I'm in, who's lived in, who's done it, and that's what we and the Dental A Team do, we literally physically fly to you.

0:08:23.0 KD: So if you're sick of trying to figure it out on your own, if you just want somebody who understands you, join our platinum, I'd love to have you, I'd love to have our consulting team come out and see you be in your office, be with your team, and truly help you get on to the easy path of dentistry. It doesn't have to be hard. So join us in the Platinum, we'd love to have you.

0:08:42.5 KD: For sure, because I think it's not fun when you're taking time off and people are like, "You left us drowning, we were dying. I'm glad you were at the movies." But like... No. Let them be off. Are you finding Brit, that was super helpful. I like the idea of having so much time off that can be taken unpaid, and I know some offices even try and schedule their time off together as group office time off. So we know every quarter we're gonna have a week off. If people don't wanna take that week off, or coordinating vacations together, so we're not having to close down the practice as much and still have more time off, are also some things that offices can do to strategize together, but are you seeing, Brit, like anything with different hours or different structures, because I agree, people want more time off, they wanna be at home, they wanna be on vacations, but they also still need these jobs.

0:09:32.3 KD: Are you seeing any split shifts or maybe working less days a week or doing rotating shifts, are you seeing anything like that being needed, or are we still in the world of people still love to work at the dental office? They still have to care for patients. So that's always gonna be a thing like. I mean, my husband works at the hospital and people just love to work at the hospital, so that those are the hours that they have at the hospital. Are you kind of seeing anything with our shifts that can help maybe accommodate more of that work-life balance, or is it really just, we've got our patients here, this is what we need to see, how do you see that coming about?

0:10:07.3 BS: Yeah, I definitely have some clients have to take a look at, still keeping in mind like what is reasonable for the business, 'cause we can't just cut it to what would probably be the ideal hours for everybody, but in some states, I know there's been some changes even when school starts and so there's been some shifts in when day care becomes available, and so I've definitely have some time to take a look at it to see like, Alright, do we need to maybe make some shifts in our hours, which would be minimum [0:10:33.3] ____ Evaluate what the cost would be for the business. But do we need to maybe make some shifts to make it a little bit more workable for one, our existing team members, or number two, to be more attractive to potential team members that we need to hire. So I would just say with that, it's easy in the stress of the moment to be like, Oh my gosh, we gotta change everything up 'cause we're not able to find anybody. I think there's definitely a happy medium and evaluating if a shift needs to be made and if we make that shift, don't make it too extreme, make it feasible, run your numbers to make sure it makes sense for the business before you make that change.

0:11:13.9 KD: I'm so glad you said that because I feel like we often go away from our core to try and attract people, when I'm like, if you are a rock solid on your core, you will find people that are there. I think it's wise to evaluate it again, but don't go so radically away from your core that it doesn't make sense. Like, for me, I love having flex Fridays. I love our team, we don't schedule meetings unless they wanna schedule them on Fridays, that way people like be available for it, but I love that as a team member, I love that. That's something me core-wise as a company, team knows like I don't care what you do on Fridays, be available, so if we need to schedule a meeting, you're available, but do your thing. I love that. I'm not going radically a way of saying we're only working three days a week as a company, and I agree with Brit, absolutely 1000%. Check your numbers before you do anything, because you've gotta make sure it makes business sense, but I think there are so many things that might be different than what we used to do that we can actually accommodate both sides of the coin right now.

0:12:10.6 BS: And I think with that evaluation, even for team members or potential hires, there's always gonna be a degree of, yes, these are the hours we work and we need you to work those hours, and so if I'm trying to accommodate team members who maybe can't even understand that even once they make an accommodation where they're gonna want even more, then... No, that's not the time to make the change. It if it's truly something for a majority of the group and they're good and responsible team members that we might wanna consider evaluating, making a change, that's the time to evaluate it, but really take an honest look at who you're making the change for, is it just gonna be a temporary fix because they're ultimately gonna ask for more or would it be like a solid long-term fix for the business?

0:13:00.6 KD: I think that's a really, really wise and sound advice, because I think it can be really easy to jump on the board, but then we're always changing and shifting for every new person who's coming through, and so it's like... I do think if you haven't looked at your PTO policies, if you haven't looked at your time off policies, if you haven't evaluated that in the last, I'd say one to two years, especially post-covid, I would surely recommend updating that policy, looking at it and making sure it's relevant and current. So you do stay competitive with the hiring market. In the same breath, make sure that you're doing it, like Brit said, for the people you actually wanna hire, not just because it's whimsical and something that feels like a fad right now, I think it always makes sense to make business decisions that can be long-term and long-lasting rather than quick and cyclical that then are detrimental to the entire practice, so... Good thought.

0:13:52.0 BS: If you have a policy that if you were... Put yourself in their shoes, if you think that it's fair and reasonable, then I think you can confidently move forward and there's always gonna be differing opinions and not everyone is gonna be happy with everything, so if you think it's fair and it's reasonable, considering recent changes, knowing that people want more flexible time, then great go for it confidently, and you don't need to make extreme changes.

0:14:17.2 KD: Amen, I would just say like, biggest bang for your buck on this podcast is run your numbers, make sure you look at all the angles like a Sudoku board, up, down left, right, side side that you aren't going to have to retroactively take this back and upset team members. Really do your due diligence before you roll this out, and I'm a big believer, we're halfway through the year already. I might make this change effective as of the New Year, so it gives you time to check your books, check your numbers, check your overhead, check with your key, really key players, look to see what the other people are doing out there in the hiring world that way you can stay competitive and also run a [0:14:54.5] ____ varially and a sophisticated business.

0:14:58.1 BS: Absolutely.

0:15:00.7 KD: Alright, Brit. I know you've got a call, you just popped in for a second, dropped some solid gold, guys, try it out, look at that, just like Brit said, I think she gave you guys some phenomenal ideas, if you guys need more ideas, email us, [email protected] Brit, was a pleasure as always, and for all of you, Thank you for listening and I'll catch you next time on the Dental A Team Podcast.

0:15:19.9 KD: And that it wraps it up for another episode of The Dental A team podcast. Thank you so much for listening and we'll talk to you next time.

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