Modern dental practice employees value ongoing learning opportunities. Creating and facilitating a continuous learning culture in your practice keeps your team sharp and pursuing the next level of excellence. 

How Important is a Learning Culture for Your Dental Practice?

Surveys by Deloitte and others back up the value of a workplace where continuous learning should be a core practice. Dental practices that value ongoing learning are more attractive to millennial employees:

  • 40% of employees with poor training will leave within the first year.
  • 94% of employees would stay at a company longer if it invested in their career development.
  • 86% of employees believe it’s essential for employers to provide learning opportunities.
  • 76% of Gen Z employees believe learning is the key to a successful career.

Dentistry is exploding with new technologies and is constantly plagued with new government requirements, insurance rules, and updated information. Demands on doctors, hygienists, assistants, and front office employees to stay on top of these developments are increasing. The licensing requirements for most team members in a dental practice to maintain minimum amounts of CE are only the foundation of any learning culture you create for your practice. 

When your office and care teams see that continuous learning is a core value, your dental practice will better adapt to and benefit from changes in the field rather than reacting from a position of surprise. 

How Can I Facilitate a Learning Culture in My Dental Practice? 

What practical ways can you create and maintain a learning culture in your dental practice? Here are some top recommendations: 

Prioritize Continuing Education 

One way to facilitate a learning culture in your dental practice is to encourage regular training and continuing education for your staff. You can provide opportunities like: 

  1. Give your team the means to attend regional dental conferences, seminars, and workshops.
  2. Schedule guest speakers for your own on-site training.
  3. Provide reimbursement for CE as a benefit and encourage your team to use it routinely or on a preplanned schedule. 
  4. Provide time in your team’s schedule for learning. Allow them to block an hour of time on a regular schedule to attend a webinar.
  5. Schedule lunch-and-learn sessions with visiting vendors or company representatives.
  6. Make it possible for your whole team to attend in-person training, like viewing a recorded webinar during a team meeting or luncheon. 
  7. Help employees connect with professional associations and encourage access to social learning opportunities.
  8. Ask a team member who attended or participated in a training session to share what they learned over lunch or in a team meeting. Then, lead a brainstorming session on implementing what they learned in your practice. 

Feed a Supportive Learning Environment 

Create a supportive environment where staff feel comfortable asking questions and sharing their knowledge and experiences with each other. Nothing kills a willingness to learn like brushing off or making fun of someone who attended a conference and tried to share something they learned. Instead, encourage collaboration and teamwork to foster a culture of learning and growth. Ask questions and inspire your team members to proactively and proudly share what they learn. The dentist sets the tone and the culture for learning and acceptance. 

Resources for Dental Practice Learning 

Strategic Practice Solutions, LLC, offers numerous resources and opportunities to help your dental practice team learn and develop their knowledge and professional skills. 

  • License renewals and certifications 
  • Leadership training 
  • Hygiene training
  • C.O.R.E. 
  • Human Trafficking Seminar 
  • Online payments 
  • Pain management
  • PPO plans 
  • DiSC 

SPS also offers Dental Practice Coaching to create a customized coaching experience to help your practice discover goals and develop a plan to achieve them. Not sure how to begin designing a learning culture in your practice? We can help! 

By prioritizing ongoing education and development, you can ensure that your team is equipped with the skills and knowledge needed to provide your patients with the best possible care. Contact Strategic Practice Solutions today to get started!