Stressed About Employee Salaries?

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The Depressed Dental Assistant


Dear Sharyn,

My dental assistant has been dragging lately. She does only what she needs to do and that’s it.  She, and the rest of the team have been taking “mental health” days.  When I asked her about it, she said she really wants to buy a house but she doesn’t see how she will be able to afford to on the salary of a dental assistant. You emphasize using patient’s motivators so they will accept treatment. How do I use this concept with her and my other employees?


Dear P.H.,

As a dental leader, you can be a cheerleader and a coach to help others define WHAT they want, clarify WHY they want it and what they can DO now to experience it. 

If your dental assistant wants a house, then support her by helping her prepare for that goal while she’s in your practice.  Just like with patients, you want her to apply her motivation to her daily decisions and behaviors

Coaching questions you could ask:

  • How do you imagine your life will change once you have a house?
  • How will you feel? (eg: confident, secure, enthusiastic)
  • What can you do now, in the practice today,  to get that feeling even without having a house?
  • If you decide you need to move on from being a DA, what skills do you want to develop so that you are marketable in a different field?
  • Let’s look at ways you can learn/ practice those skills here so that you can build your resume.

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Inspired Us to Dream Bigger, and it Works

“As an Office Manager, I’ve seen a great difference in my practice since starting with Sharyn. Three years ago our staff was in turmoil with a lot of infighting and gossip and some jealousy directed towards me.

I had given up because everything I did was judged. Now I have learned to have more one-to-one communication and by being more vulnerable with individuals I found my leadership voice. As a team, we’re all focused on the same goals.

Last year, in August we produced $88,000. This year we’re on track to produce $111,000 this month. I know it’s because we learned how to follow through with patients and communicate our expectations while building our systems.

Sharyn has gotten us out of our comfort zone and inspired us to dream bigger and it works.”

–Sharon St Pierre, Sperbeck Dental Care

The Stress-Free Guide to Attract World-Class Dental Employees

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