Top tips for empowering staff in tough financial times

empowering staff in tough financial times

Manhar Segal highlights the importance of prioritising team investment during financial uncertainty.

In times of financial upheaval, a business’s success hinges not only on its strategies but also on the wellbeing of its workforce. 

As a practice owner, fostering a resilient team amidst a cost of living crisis necessitates more than just financial assistance. It calls for a holistic approach to employee support.

Financial strain can seriously affect how well employees feel, how satisfied they are with their jobs and how productive they can be. These top tips should help practice owners support staff during tough economic times.

1. Nurturing a culture of open conversations in a team is vital

Clear and direct communication is significant in establishing a solid understanding within a practice team. Without this, there can be no foundation upon which we can build a more profound understanding of the people we work with – particularly important should any concerns arise. Without communication, complications occur, and staff morale suffers.

Therefore, fostering a culture of openness can help address immediate challenges and strengthen the team’s ability to navigate future obstacles. Providing a space for open dialogue can alleviate anxiety. We create a healthy working environment by letting team members voice their concerns and contribute ideas for solutions.

2. Ensure you regularly review pay and benefits packages

Consistently evaluating pay and benefits is essential for fostering a strong bond between employers and employees. It’s crucial to maintain competitiveness and fairness in these packages. As a business evolves, so should employee pay and benefits. These should reflect the company’s success and ensure that the staff who helped create and shape this are recognised and rewarded accordingly.

3. Be open to discussing personalised solutions

The earlier you can have these discussions, the better. Acute financial difficulty causes untold stress to the affected individual, which can lead to reduced productivity and additional time off work due to stress. Early intervention can quickly resolve this once the matter comes to light.

4. Consider offering staff financial wellbeing support

Providing financial wellbeing support can be incredibly beneficial. By offering financial education, budgeting advice and access to financial products/services, dental practices can help alleviate stress, leading to happier, more engaged employees. 

Comprehensive benefits, including financial wellbeing support, can be a significant draw for potential employees. It can also improve staff retention, as employees feel valued and supported by their employer. Additionally, providing financial support demonstrates that the practice cares about the holistic wellbeing of its employees, fostering a positive company culture.

5. Explore flexible working arrangements

Flexible working arrangements can help employees manage their finances better by reducing travel costs and allowing for a better work-life balance. Remote working poses an obvious challenge in the dental setting, given the profession’s practical and hands-on nature.

However, there is some scope within the management aspect of the dental setting, for instance those jobs such as report preparation and general administration matters, which would allow an employee to work remotely. If it is doable and staff members have requested alternative working patterns to accommodate their financial situation, be open to discussing options.

6. Provide support

Consider providing access to mental health resources or counselling services to support the team’s wellbeing during stressful times. Providing support during stressful times, often linked to being the most productive for a business, could be invaluable for team members. Such assistance could decrease the chances of team members taking time off due to stress-related health issues. 

There is a wealth of online resources, such as webinars, training modules and toolkits to help increase mental health awareness throughout the team. The Mental Health At Work website ( has plenty of tools, resources and stories to help you navigate the workplace mental health landscape.

7. Invest in the team

Skill development and additional training can empower team members to increase their income or job security. Practice owners should be prepared to subsidise educational programmes/courses. This is essential to any thriving business and should be a constantly evolving practice. 

Investing in your team will reap rewards for both employers and employees. Indeed, it is something that we as a practice used to partake in with our employees regularly, actively encouraging self-betterment and self-confidence while adding value to the practice.

8. Maintain a healthy working environment

Positivity, encouragement and leadership are the keys to raising and maintaining staff morale. Approachability is always paramount in maintaining a happy team, too. Regular staff meetings, in both formal and informal settings, are also crucial in maintaining a healthy working environment.

9. Regularly review and reassess the measures 

Practice owners should consider steps to ensure the sustainability of any support systems beyond the immediate crisis period. To maintain a happy and thriving workforce, regularly review and reassess the measures in place to ensure they continually meet the team’s needs, which are constantly changing.

10. Look after yourself

Remember to consider your own needs during these financially challenging times. Your team can be a great source of support. Engage team members in financial conversations and encourage input on cost-saving strategies and ways to increase revenue. A supportive team often brings valuable insights to the table.

Follow on Instagram to keep up with all the latest dental news and trends.

Get the most out of your membership by subscribing to Dentistry CPD
  • Access 600+ hours of verified CPD courses
  • Includes all GDC recommended topics
  • Powerful CPD tracking tools included
Register for webinar
Add to calendar