How to let someone go from your dental practice Skip to main content

How to let someone go from your dental practice

As the owner of a dental practice, you may be required to let a member of your team go who isn’t working out.

It’s natural to try and avoid this stressful situation, but keeping a staff member on board that is not a good fit can have substantial consequences for your business.

No surprises

An underperforming employee should be given plenty of warning and opportunity to improve prior to being let go. It’s best to be clear and concise about which behaviors are causing issues and set a timeline for improvement.

You should discuss issues face-to-face and provide written warnings. Once an employee has been given their final notice, it’s good practice to set a specific probation period of 30, 60 or 90 days.

Keep it private

Try to avoid letting an employee go in front of other staff, with the exception of one witness. Depending on the situation, the witness can be your office manager or another dentist in your office.

Be brief

The time for long conversations is over. Treat the person you’re letting go with respect but don’t be vague.

It’s natural to feel bad, but if you’ve worked through your practice’s disciplinary protocols the staff member has already been told what the problem is and been given the opportunity to rectify the situation. For your final meeting you can keep it brief.

Pay them immediately

If possible, have the employee’s final paycheck printed and ready to be delivered at the final meeting. If it is not possible to provide what they are owed immediately, give them the exact date when they can expect to be paid.

Saying goodbye

Once the meeting has concluded, shake the employee’s hand and wish them well in future endeavors. Be sure to collect any office keys or company property and escort the employee to collect their belongings.

Call a staff meeting

You may want to notify the rest of your team to avoid the circulation of rumors. Inform staff that the individual has been let go but don’t feel you need to elaborate on the reasons why.

Pay attention to the mood of the office in the week following. Notice how the removal of a negative influence can boost morale and productivity. This is worth remembering in case you’re forced into the unpleasant task of letting someone go in the future.

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