July 19, 2023
Identifying Burnout for Yourself and or Your Denal Practice’s Team members
In today’s fast-paced and demanding work environment, dental professionals often find themselves susceptible to burnout. As a dental consultant and leadership coach, I see this happening every single day. The accumulation of responsibilities when running a business can take a toll on your well-being and job satisfaction. There are high expectations to clinically produce, and pressure to keep pace with the ever-evolving challenges in the dental industry. All of this makes your job extremely stressful.
However, by recognizing that there are signs of burnout and beginning to implement strategies to adapt, cope, and move forward; dentists and practice owners can manage their hardships, regain a sense of fulfillment and balance in their professional lives and personal lives.
Before we dig into how to go about creating a healthier and more productive work-life balance, here are some general burnout statistics I would like to share.
• In a Deloitte survey, 56% of workers say that their managers did not encourage conversations addressing burnout.
• 77% say they have experienced employee burnout at their current job, with more than half citing more than one occurrence.
Money doesn’t cure burnout:
There is only a 6% difference in burnout rates between employees earning $100,000 and $30,000. In contrast, leadership assistance can lower burnout by over 30%
Now that we have established that burnout is a real thing, recognizing and adapting is the key to moving forward.
First Steps to Identifying Burnout:
The first step in addressing burnout is to acknowledge its presence and understand its impact on mental, emotional, and physical well-being. Dentists need to look out for signs in themselves as well as their employees. Things to look out for include:
- Chronic fatigue
- Decreased motivation
- Reduced productivity
Once burnout is recognized, it is crucial to have a conversation with someone about it and put a plan of action in place to correct the problems causing burnout.
Creating A Work-life balance:
The relentless pace of the modern work environment can contribute to burnout. To manage this hardship, there are strategies that can help you maintain a healthy work-life balance. This includes:
- setting realistic expectations
- delegating tasks
- establishing clear boundaries between work and personal life.
Once you are able to recognize and discuss what is causing you to burn out, begin to prioritize self-care activities such as:
- taking regular breaks
- practicing mindfulness
- fostering supportive relationships
These things can help mitigate the negative impact of keeping pace with professional demands.
Generating A Corporate Culture:
One thing I have always found strange about the dental industry is, practice owners do not do enough with their teams to foster better relationships. As a consultant, I am currently working with over 70 dentists and their businesses. I have personally witnessed how polarizing doctors can be when managing teams. Some do pretty much nothing to foster those relationships with their team yet expect amazing camaraderie with stellar employee engagement.
Others go toward the opposite extreme sparing no expense in taking care of their team members. Naturally, the ones that overdo employee involvement tend to get taken advantage of. On the other hand, those who do nothing are constantly upset with team members for not having an ownership or personal accountability mentality. Can we please figure out how to meet in the middle?
It is very important to incorporate team-building activities and to create loyalty which helps reduce burnout for dental professionals. A great article published by Gusto gives us a list of fun and original activities for 2023 to foster a more enjoyable team environment. It’s definitely worth sharing and passing along.
How to Personally Cope with Burnout:
Coping with burnout requires a holistic approach that addresses both the professional and personal aspects. Mid-career professionals can adopt various strategies to manage stress and promote well-being. Regular exercise, mindfulness practices, and actively engaging in hobbies or activities that bring joy and relaxation can help alleviate burnout symptoms. Seeking support from friends, family, or professional networks. Considering therapy or personal coaching can provide valuable guidance and perspective during challenging times.
Moving Forward from Burnout and Seeking Growth:
Burnout for dental professionals often arises from a sense of stagnation or lack of fulfillment in one’s career. To move forward, dental professionals should evaluate their personal and professional goals and aspirations. This may involve seeking new challenges, acquiring new skills and qualifications, or exploring alternative paths. Engaging in continuous learning and professional development can reignite passion (or hiring a consultant ha!) and open doors to new opportunities, promoting personal and career growth. Not to mention there is also a social aspect to attending live educational events. We hosts live in-person events that offer AGD approved CE to doctors throughout out the year. These CE events are great ways to socialize and learn about new industry trends and skills.
Next Level Consultants also help dentists get into ownership. Our clients often see this as an opportunity to continue developing and challenging themselves professionally. However, it is important to recognize that ownership entails a variety of unique challenges that require a lot of preparation. Not everyone is suited to own a practice. Nevertheless, over the past decade, I have guided numerous doctors through this process to help them advance their professional career goals.
Burnout can hinder growth and also tear people and relationships apart. As a professional business coach and also coming from the corporate world, I have both witnessed and experienced burnout myself. I also see how dentists in private practice are pushed to produce without much personal fulfillment, emotionally or monetarily. Also, while working with practices I see first hand how doctors become dental practice owners but can’t quite figure out how to create the best systems and foster a collaborative and healthy work environment. With all of that said, there is a solution to burnout for dental professionals with the right tools and information. Hopefully this article has helped you gain some insight on how to move forward and get past roadblocks.
We work with dental practice owners all over the country, encouraging them and their team to achieve their goals all while having a more balanced and healthy environment. We also help practices boost their revenues by incorporating systems that make a difference. By working with us and putting these systems in place, doctors invest in their team’s well-being as well as their own personal well-being; making the practice much more profitable and pleasurable to work in every day.