Perception, be it public or industry, is notoriously difficult to shift, but that’s just what DentalWorks did in 2017. DentalWorks is an affiliate of DentalOne Partners, Inc., a leading Dental Service Organization (DSO). The organization saw an opportunity to differentiate DentalWorks from its competitors through employee experience — specifically, it sought to do so by creating an exceptional working environment.
Tom Marler, who joined DentalOne Partners as President and Chief Executive Officer in September 2015, redefined the commitment to employee experience with his vision of the company’s mission. “What we do can be summed up in three words: inspiration, innovation and growth. That’s what guides our journey as a company, and that’s what we strive to bring to every practice we support.”
Marler’s words served as nothing short of a rally cry for the organization, which has since seen its repute as an employer on the rise. And the call to action could scarcely have come at a better time. Dentistry IQ reports that although 84 percent of dental hygienists believe they made the right career choice, many feel that the pay, benefits and work experience are inconsistent around the industry, and often, not as advertised.
It seems that Marler and the company have managed to address some of these concerns. As recently as June 2017, DentalOne Partners and its affiliated DentalWorks practices were named No. 8 on Glassdoor’s list of “25 Hot Companies to Apply to Today.” Why? A quote from a current employee sums it up: “Great pay, friendly team environment, flexible hours, opportunities for growth, very professional company.”
Raising the Bar
Many of most notable efforts towards change at DentalWorks focused inwards, establishing new compensation plans and a referral system, creating the national level hygiene program and delivering a consistent employer brand across locations. Compensation overhaul included a production-based compensation plan for dentists and hygienists to allow for performance and pay to more accurately align with higher standards of patient care.
Hygienists also received a boost in dedicated professional development as the hygiene leadership introduced a mentorship program and new advisory roles, with Regional Hygiene Directors and Senior Registered Hygienists. These additions take a direct approach to improving past areas of concern for hygienists throughout the industry.
Further, DentalWorks practices now accept referrals from anyone and pay robust rewards to those who make a referral that leads to a hire — doctor referrals can net a $7,500 reward while hygienist referrals can earn $2,500. Other positions within practices are also included in the referral program. Additionally, DentalOne Partners took great strides to unify DentalWorks as an employer brand, creating a career website and increasing its activity on Glassdoor to gain awareness of employee reactions and adjust accordingly. The effort seems to be paying off, as DentalOne Partners and affiliated DentalWorks practices enjoy 4.1 Glassdoor rating, a score that significantly out-paces an industry average that hovers closer to 3 stars.
In addition to the internal changes made to better support existing employees and attract new talent, DentalOne is committed to facilitating exceptional patient experiences at all DentalWorks practices. DentalWorks practices operate on the belief that world-class facilities are a critical component of outstanding care. As such, the organization works to create beautiful practices in convenient locations and even offers virtual tours for potential patients and employees.
A critical component in the organization’s commitment to supporting the very best dentists who provide the very best care is maintaining clinical autonomy. DentalOne Partners trusts providers at DentalWorks practices to know what’s best for their patients and will always stand by clinical diagnoses and treatment that represent the best interests of the patient. Indeed, DentalOne Partners wants providers to diagnose and provide comprehensive treatment plans after getting to know the patient and spending time to educate and understand their oral health goals. Because quality care isn’t just about efficient dentistry, it’s also about developing connections with patients to better understand their wants, needs and dental health.
Through a concerted effort across the business and constant reassessment of best practices and industry standards, DentalOne Partners has addressed many of the greatest concerns talented dentists and hygienists have about working with a DSO, and further, created a work environment at DentalWorks that supports happy patients and employees.
Industry professionals interested in learning more about careers with DentalOne Partners and DentalWorks are encouraged to explore the dental career website to see for themselves.
By: Dr. Syed Kamal, Vice President of Clinical Operations for Dental One Partners, Inc.