Why HR is Important for Dental Practice Transitions and Acquisitions
Have you recently purchased a dental practice? If so, you are probably excited to get started. You want to make your mark on the dental practice and shape it in your image; however, you need a reliable human resources (HR) team to help you.
There are a lot of moving parts involved, and you need an HR team to help you guide the way. What are some of the biggest reasons why you need to have a strong HR strategy as you go through the process of a dental practice transition?
The Importance of Having a Strong HR Strategy
Before you purchase or invest in a dental practice, you need to have a reliable HR strategy in place. This is important, as you will have a lot of people from different backgrounds who need to come together to ensure your dental practice runs smoothly. For example, you will probably have a team of dental hygienists, front desk staff, and other dentists who need to get along. Furthermore, you might have some new people joining the practice with you, and they need to get along well with the people who have been there for a long time.
If you do not have an HR strategy in place, you will have a hard time maintaining a solid culture. Furthermore, your entire practice could struggle to work together, potentially opening the door to productivity and efficiency issues. You could even face some legal issues if you do not have an HR strategy in place.
What are some of the specific reasons why you need to make sure that you have a strong HR strategy in place as you go through the process of transitioning to a dental practice?
1. You Need Help Calming Employees Who Are There
There is no way around it. If you go through the process of acquiring a dental practice, the employees who have been there a long time are going to get concerned. Some of the biggest questions they have include:
• Will we still have jobs when the new owner comes in?
• Are we going to get along well with the new owner?
• Are a bunch of new people going to join the practice?
• Are our day-to-day operations going to change?
Change is hard for everyone, and you need the HR team to be on your side. You want them to ease the minds of the employees who are still there and let them know that everything is going to be okay.
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2. You Want Help Acquiring New Talent to Join the Practice
If you want the practice to be successful, you need to identify new, talented employees that can join the team. There is a solid chance that at least some of the employees are going to decide to leave. Therefore, you will have openings you need to fill. You might even want to expand the practice, which will mean hiring new employees.
You need the HR team to help you identify talented employees and candidates who might want to join the team. The HR team has had experience doing this in the past, so you need to lean on them to help you attract new candidates as well. They can help you fill the gaps left by the employees who decide to leave or fill new positions as a result of the expansion.
3. You Want to Onboard Everyone Quickly
When you purchase a dental practice, you will need to onboard and train everyone to make sure they understand how to do their daily jobs with the proper documentation. There is a chance that you might have to put the current employees through some new training sessions to make sure they know how you want to do things. Then, you will need to train the new hires who join the team. You want to get everyone up to speed as quickly as possible. The longer everyone is in training, the more revenue you miss out on. Employees who are in training are not helping you treat patients, so lean on your HR team to see if they can get everyone through training as quickly as possible.
4. Identify What the Employees Like - And What They Don't
You want the employees who are there to like you. If they get along well with you, they are going to go the extra mile to make sure you are successful. How are you going to figure out this information? It is going to take some time for the employees to open up to you, so you won't necessarily find out what you need to know just by asking them. You might not even have time!
Therefore, you need to lean on your HR team once again. You should talk to the HR team to figure out what the employees like. Are there any daily processes that you should not touch? Is there anything the previous ownership team did that the employees enjoyed? Make sure you keep these processes intact.
Then, talk to the HR team to see if there is anything that the employees disliked. Maybe there is a software program you can change. Perhaps there were some quirks about the prior ownership team that the employees were not big fans of. See if you can change these areas to make them better suited to the employees. Your HR team is going to be invaluable as this process unfolds.
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5. You Want to Avoid Compliance Issues
Whenever there is a transition taking place, there are always opportunities for major compliance issues to rear their ugly heads. You want to work with your HR team to make sure there is nothing that falls through the cracks. For example, you might need to transition all of the patient charts to a new software program. You do not want to violate HIPAA as the process unfolds. If there are changes being made to the payroll system, you need to ensure that nothing falls through the cracks. You should also see if there are any outstanding employee complaints or concerns that need to be addressed. You need to ensure these are handled properly as well. Your HR team is going to help you as this process unfolds, and you want to make sure you remain in compliance.
6. You Should Learn and Update the Employee Handbook
Your employee handbook is the most important defensive tool that you have. If you need to make changes, or if you need to guide an employee in the right direction, lean on the handbook. You will not be able to use it if you do not know what is in it. Make sure the HR team gives you a copy of the employee handbook, and ask questions if there is anything in it that you do not understand.
You might also want to make changes to the employee handbook. This book will contain information such as:
• Employee work schedule
• The benefits your employees get
• Rules for employee attendance and time off
• Information about how technology will be used
• Time-tracking information
• Conflict resolution guidelines
If you feel like changes need to be made to this handbook, your HR team will help you. Your HR team
How HR for Health Can Help
Ready to get started with HR for Health? Contact us today to set up a fifteen-minute consultation and learn more about how HR for Health can help your practice grow and protect you from various HR challenges - including bullying.