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10 Tips for Successfully Utilizing Flexible Staffing

Since the COVID-19 outbreak began, many states have been shutting down and businesses are dealing with changes in staffing. If you find your dental practice is understaffed, utilizing temporary and flexible staffing options is the key to keeping things running smoothly.

In previous years, the use of temporary staff members was already increasing in popularity but now more than ever are businesses utilizing many different types of employees. Thankfully with more virtual appointments, there will be fewer patients visiting the office but there are still plenty of things that need to be done. Temporary staff members also come in handy when permanent employees take sick leave, maternity leave, or take a vacation.

When you’re working as a temp, it can feel like you don’t belong or that you aren’t a part of the team. As an employer, there are many things you can do to make temporary employees feel like they matter. Here are 10 tips that you can implement to successfully utilize temporary staffing in the office.

1. Be Inclusive

The biggest thing you can do to make a temporary staff member feel like part of the team is by treating them as part of the team. Make sure they get to participate, whether it’s casual Fridays or a team potluck.

2. Plan Ahead

Temp employees are often used as a last-minute replacement but consider scheduling a temp in advance for when you anticipate a change in schedule, for example, during the holiday seasons.

3. Clear Communication

In order to keep your temporary employees happy and to ensure they feel appreciated, keep an open line of communication regarding lunch breaks, PPE, parking, and any other relevant info they may need.

4. Workflow Optimization

Making sure there is a clearly defined workflow ensures that things will run smoothly if there is a temporary employee in for the day. Identical set up for stations and labels will ensure they know where things are and that the day will run smoothly.

5. Paper Notes

While digital record keeping is the standard, it can be easier when dealing with temporary staffing to have a packet ready for them. Make them a copy of an office map, common passwords, and an explanation of their tasks for the day.

6. Give Them an Anchor Person

Basically, an anchorperson is an experienced staff member that can help the temp employees with any first-day type questions. Their anchor will also give them a tour of the office at the beginning of the day.

7. Schedule

Make sure to review the patient schedule first thing in the morning and take notes on each patient, such as “Bill’s son plays football,” so your temp knows a bit about the patients.

8. Pick Your Favorites

If you work with a temp and they are a great addition to the team, use that employee repeatedly. This gives the patients continuity and you won’t have to retrain every time you need a temp.

9. Follow Up

Make sure to reach out to the temporary employees and thank them for their help, especially if you are added to their favorite places to work list.

10. Listen to Your Temps

Because temporary employees are in so many different environments, there’s a chance they could teach you something. Listen to their stories and advice, because you never know when you’ll learn something new.

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