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5 Common Dental Office Human Resources Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

You want to make sure that your employees are happy in the workplace. You want to avoid potential disputes between you and them — and between them and their team members. Here's five common mistakes to avoid.

Dental Intelligence


April 24, 2023

An HR manager can help resolve any complaints an employee might have. Choosing the right professional is helpful, but it’s best to avoid these problems to begin with. Many dental offices end up running into easily avoidable mistakes — and oftentimes, that’s just because they don’t know what to look for.

At Dental Intelligence, we’re here to help. We’ve compiled a list of five common dental office human resources mistakes and how to avoid them. In addition, our Team Chat can help with office communication for dental practices and more to help smooth conflicts before they arise.

1. Make Sure You Handle All Payments Properly

Proper payment can be a huge point of contention. If someone is putting in a lot of hours at work, then they’ll expect proper payment.

This is especially true if someone’s working overtime.

You’re required to pay an employee overtime when they work more than 40 hours a week. You’ll need to keep careful track of how much your employees work in order to both pay them on time and ensure they get any overtime pay. Otherwise, you could end up falling into unexpected pitfalls.

2. Hiring Temporary Employees Instead of Permanent Ones

You need to consider a lot during the hiring process. You won’t just need to make sure you have up-to-date job descriptions; you’ll also need to make sure you hire the right person for the job. A lot of potential employers worry about the consequences of hiring the wrong person and may take questionable measures to avoid the issue.

Sometimes, people may hire temporary employees instead of permanent ones to try and avoid employment issues. Unfortunately, this isn’t a solution. Even temporary employees are still considered employees under the law, so it’s better to search for someone you’d like to hire permanently instead.

3. Provide Regular Performance Reviews

Performance reviews are vital to a dental practice. Performance reviews look at an employee’s overall performance and can justify disciplinary action or termination. As such, it can be an issue if you don’t have records of them.

Create a schedule for performance reviews and stick to it. This will not only help your employees know when you’ll review them but also help you keep on top of things.

Keep thorough records of any reviews. This way, should problems arise, you’ll have the information to back up your decisions.

4. Encourage Employees to Take Breaks

Dental work can be stressful. Without breaks, your team members could end up overworked, unsatisfied, and unable to perform to the best of their ability.

That’s not the only reason to encourage breaks, however. All employees need to have a lunch break and short breaks during the workday, according to the law. As such, if employees don’t take advantage of this time, you could find yourself in legal trouble.

Many dental employees may decide to work through their lunch or break. Work days in a dental office can get busy, after all, and they may have a lot to do. It’s important to pay attention to who hasn’t gone on break yet and encourage them to take theirs. Try to foster an environment where no one feels pressured to skip their breaks, and you can avoid one of the most common dental office human resources mistakes.

5. Have Strong Harassment and Discrimination Policies

Workplace harassment and discrimination are serious issues. They can result in employees feeling unsafe at work — and result in potentially serious issues down the line.

Make sure that you take the time to create solid harassment and discrimination policies. Read them over thoroughly and run them by other members of your team to catch any potential issues. Once you’ve implemented them, make sure that your employees have access to them; this way, they’ll know when and how to approach the HR manager if they need to.

In addition, you won’t want to just leave the policy untouched once you create it. You’ll want to review your policies regularly and make updates as needed. This way, you can make sure that you address any employee concerns.

Avoid Common Mistakes and Create a Better Work Environment

At Dental Intelligence, we’re here to help you. Learn how to become a great leader, avoid common dental office human resources mistakes, and more on our blog. Schedule a demo today to see our Team Chat and other features in action.

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