Dental implant marketing has never been more important.
Why is that?
- The customers who delayed treatment during the pandemic are back.
- There are more seniors in need of dental implants than ever before.
- Cosmetic dentistry is growing in importance as aesthetics dominate many people’s minds.
The dental hiring situation, however, presents a different picture. It has been difficult, to say the least, for the last several years. The dental industry has been dealing with two converging labor currents – one short term and one long-term.
In the short-term, the dental industry was hard-hit during the pandemic – losing 10% of its workforce, and it has struggled to recover. We looked at this short-term labor crunch in our blog Part 1 Dental Implant Marketing – Achieving Results in the Tight Labor Market
Today, we want to look in more depth at the second labor current, the long-term one.
The question is this: How are dentists maximizing the opportunities with dental implant marketing while facing the generational shift from Boomers to Millennials (and now the first waves of Gen Z as well)?
In this blog, we’ll look at how smart dentists are navigating and pulling this off.
Understanding the Generational Labor Market
Who exactly are we talking about with the terms Boomers, Gen Xers, Millennials, and Gen Zers again?
Most people are familiar with these terms, but let’s look especially at each generation’s attitude towards their work.
Baby Boomers and Gen Xers
Boomers, or Baby Boomers are those born in the wake of WWII (from 1946-1964). There were 76.4 million births during those years of them, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
In 2022, the number of Boomers in the U.S. stood at 68.59 million, a number that, of course, includes many Boomer-age immigrants. This is about 20% of the U.S. population.
The Boomers stand out for their dynamic traits. As a generational group, they were colorful pioneers, redefining, in many ways, every life stage that they passed through.
The field of work ethic would be something of an exception, however. Once they settled down, Boomers tended to hold the traditional Protestant work ethic. They found meaning for their lives in their work, much as previous generations had done.
They weren’t afraid to try new things and apply new technology in the building of their massive empires, but their work mentality was, at the end of the day, something that their grandparents, the Greatest Generation, would have recognized and appreciated.
Generation X (those born between 1965 and 1980) has always been something of a scaled-down version of the colorful Boomer generation. Never as numerous (see chart below), they have always stood in the Boomer shadow.
This would certainly hold when we look at their view of work. In many ways, Gen Xers simply represent an extension of the Boomer era, a less confident and dynamic extension, but a faithful extension nonetheless.
Since we are talking about their attitude to work, we will mainly refer to both generations as one group, the Boomers.
Millennials and Gen Z
This acceptance of the work status quo changes abruptly, however, with the Millennials (those born between 1981 and 1996).
Millennials, in many ways, do not fit the traditional work ethic mold and are not interested in adapting themselves to it.
Millennials tend to be confident, upbeat, technologically savvy, and open to new ideas. Unlike Gen Xers and Baby Boomers, Millennials’ attitudes to work tend to have been formed by doting parents, structured lives, and contact with diverse situations and people.
They tend to work well in teams and expect to relate and make friends with coworkers who may be very different from themselves.
They tend to be confident that they can take on the world, without always understanding what that means.
They do have a strong commitment to a work/life balance.
Although the best ones do understand the need for a strong work ethic, almost all Millennials are also strongly interested in maintaining their outside interests and life.
Work is not the meaning of a Millennial’s life nearly as readily as it is (or was) for a Boomer.
All of this mainly holds for the generation that is just arriving at the workplace as well – Gen Z. In many ways, Gen Z’s relationship with the Millennials, especially in the field of work, mirrors that of Gen X to the Boomers – a resonably faithful extension without significant breakthroughs.
In this article, we will mainly lump both of them together, referring to them all as Millennials.
So What’s the Point – Especially for Dentistry?
All of this has important ramifications for dentist offices, especially as they try to maximize the opportunities with dental implant marketing.
The point is quite simply that Boomers and Gen Xers are retiring in droves. Someone will have to replace them and that someone will be the Millennials and Gen Zers.
And the change is definitely upon us because the youngest Boomers turn 65 in 2030.
Generational change is to be expected, of course, but the problem in the dental workforce right now is twofold.
Due to the pandemic, the changeover is happening much more abruptly than normal, and on top of that, we have a different view that Millennials hold of work.
Most dentists recognize this difference by now, but they might still struggle to see how they can achieve the same results with Millennial employees as they could with their devoted, long-term Boomers, especially as they look at the tremendous potential for growing their practice with dental implant marketing.
We want to show you the potential to Millennials (including here the the first wave of Gen Z) and give you the best possible chance of achieving even greater results than ever before!
Check out our blog Dental Practice Growth – How Do I Attract the Talent That I Need? for more information.
How Smart Dentists Achieve Dental Implant Marketing Results With Millennials and Gen Z
So if dentists have been relying on their graying Boomer employees who would die in the traces before giving up, how do they pivot and achieve success with dental implant marketing with their Millennial successors?
Here are 8 ways to build an environment in which Millennials have the best chance of success:
- Make work/life balance a priority in your office.
This comes first. As we said, Millennials have broken the mold and value their work-life balance more than ever before. They’re not interested in being simply another employee, making unlimited sacrifices of family time for the job.
Try to offer flexible scheduling everywhere that you can. Show interest in their outside lives and be quick to allow time off for family functions.
Although Boomers often find it frustrating to witness Millennials’ slight interest in working past 5 PM, appreciate their dedication to their families and their determination to keep outside interests alive.
Although you need to make sure that they are contributing to the practice’s goals of expansion with dental implant marketing, consider asking them for suggestions for the work/life balance they would like to see.
- Take time to LISTEN to Their New Ideas.
The next most important thing on the list is to stay open to your Millennial employees’ ideas.
Avoid a mentality where fresh approaches are not welcome. Millennial employees love change and challenges and are interested in what is happening or could be happening next, and they love to help create it.
Remember, Millennials were raised in some of the best listening, most child-centric environments in history, and they developed skills through sharing with their audience of parents and caregivers.
Use this to your advantage in your dental implant marketing and do not ignore and trivialize their contributions.
- Provide real-time feedback.
Impatient and non-traditional, Millennials are also discontent to undergo the standard “annual review.”
They prefer to know how they stand and what they could do to improve their performance in real time. Turn this into an advantage by reviewing your progress against your dental implant marketing goals regularly with your dental assistants, hygienists, administrative staff, and other team members seeking their feedback.
This can often be done informally and casually; more frequent evaluations are very attractive to Millennials. Just be certain to maintain a level playing field, evaluating everyone the same to avoid any favoritism.
- Guard against their natural over-confidence.
Many Millennials gained their confidence from their doting parents who frequently told them how wonderful they were.
Although Millennials are team players who usually work well with other people, they aren’t accustomed to failures that can’t be spun as a success.
When dental implant marketing benchmarks are not met or their performance is in any way unsatisfactory, guard against the extremes that over-confidence and unfamiliarity with failure can bring. Help them to see the specifics of the problem, showing them exactly what needs to be done to fix it.
Better yet, give them the proper training and guidance that will prevent these situations from developing in the first place. In your training, be aware of their tendencies to impatience and over-confidence and help them see how essential it is to pay careful attention to the details of lead follow-up, etc., to avoid failing situations.
But if you can channel their confidence properly, your Millennial employees will drive your dental implant marketing to incredible heights!
- Show them the path to career advancement.
Millennials have less tolerance for career plateaus than Boomers.
They like tangible career goals and the knowledge that growth opportunities available to them. They also have a real desire to see the big picture and feel that they are “in” on the inside scoop. Without a clear picture of the growth opportunities available, they may start seeking out somewhere else to work.
Meet with your team and go over dental implant marketing goals regularly and offer bonuses and try to promote where you can from inside candidates.
There is certainly potential for advancement since Millennials learn quickly, especially in the field of technology.
Discover their innate abilities in the field of dental implant marketing and incorporate challenges into their daily routine.
Continuing education can be a great reward in itself for driven young Millennials.
- Focus on your brand’s social influence.
Millennials crave impact in their communities and love to feel a part of something bigger than themselves.
Involve your practice in humanitarian causes in your community and you will win points with your Millennial employees, not to mention your customers. Examples abound plastic, glass, and paper recycling; food, toy, or money drives for needy children; fundraisers for tragedies and community needs; and booths at events and races such as Race for the Cure and Relay for Life.
- Cultivate a strong team spirit.
Millennials have the strength of collaborating well with a team, so this one comes more easily.
Channel and encourage this productive strength by cultivating a strong team spirit.
Try to inculcate your goals for dental implant marketing into the entire team and allow the achievement of them to bind everyone more closely together.
Encourage them to make room for honest mistakes, seeing failure to meet implant marketing goals as a chance to learn. Hold regular meetings to build team spirit, allowing each team member to give their input.
- Compensate Millennials fairly.
Millennials will probably be some of your least shy employees about asking for raises in pay.
Make sure to give them clear ideas beforehand about when and where promotions and raises will be discussed and awarded.
Your Dental Implant Marketing Will Suffer If Your Good Millennial Employees Walk
If you are not following the previous points, you are in grave danger of losing your Millennial employees to other employers who will. Although Millennials can be loyal, they do not hesitate to take better offers that may come along.
And your dental implant marketing and expansion will suffer if your good Millennial employees walk out on you.
Talk to them about their work/life balance goals, compensation, etc. up front, and set yourself up for success.
Wrapping It Up
Your Boomer employees are retiring from your practice over the next couple of years, like it or not.
Millennials and now Gen Zers (who resemble Millennials, much as Gen Xers resemble Boomers) are going to replace them.
And this is not a bad thing, even if it requires some adjustments at times.
Millennials are technologically savvy employees who collaborate well with other team members and easily create meaningful relationships with patients.
They are also full of wonderful new ideas and your dental implant marketing and competitive edge will be greatly enhanced if you learn to channel their strengths for the benefit of your practice.
Dental Implant Growth Partner for Maximum Results
For a dental implant growth partner to help you expand your practice while navigating this long-term labor crunch, reach out to Client Connection Group today!
Client Connection Group is a Millennial-owned and -staffed company. We know how to help dentists get results with dental implant marketing in the current labor climate.