Employer of Choice: Welcome Dental
Who are you? My name is Kirsty Christensen, and I’m a Co-Owner and Business Manager for Welcome Dental at Urunga. We employ 25 staff.
Describe your core business: General dentistry
How would you define an excellent employer?
Someone who is caring, supportive, honest, and proactive not reactive. It’s also important to facilitate growth opportunities for employees.
In your organisation, what are some of the things you do that make you an employer of choice? Our staff are provided lunch and morning tea, complementary massage and physiotherapy vouchers throughout the year, and we offer a Employer Assistance Program which provides three free sessions with a psychologist if needed. We love to celebrate people – we do birthday cake and flowers, celebrations for awards nights, and fun things like an amazing race for our Christmas party! Our team works 4 day weeks, and we provide onsite training – we would prefer to hire for the right person and will train them from scratch.
Why is it important to you that you are an excellent employer? Training staff is expensive – you don’t want to be retraining all the time. Consistency of care for our patients is important. If we have happy staff we have happy patients.
What have you learned along your journey to becoming an employer of choice? Listen to people. Address issues straightaway, don’t let them escalate. Keep your staff engaged and survey them regularly to check up on their mental health and wellbeing and how the workplace is functioning. Constantly strive to improve – never get complacent, and at the end of the day have fun!
Do you employ young people (under 25)? Do you consider you do that effectively? Why/Why not? Most of our team is quite young – they mostly range between 18 and 50. We employ the right person for the job and this may include people who are studying at university in other parts of the health industry, as well as people who are looking to start their career – and we also employ people who are over 25 as well. We don’t expect them to work for us forever, but we know that we’re part of their life journey so it’s important to make an impact. The workplace has to be engaging for young people – we make it fun and social, they’re on the go all the time. It’s an opportunity for them to build relationships, and they often tell me they have made genuine friendships while they work here.
What is your advice to organisations that want to improve as an employer?
People are important – look after them and treat them right. Be honest. If you say you’re going to do something then do it. You’re part of the team, we’re all human. Build a place where people love to come.
What key trends do you see impacting your business in the next 5-10 years?
- Increasing cost of living – means that people have less money to spend on things like dentistry.
- Dental Benefits Schedule (Federal Government program which provides free dental to children under 18) – we are monitoring any changes to that, especially with the change in government.
- Increasing costs of consumables, especially stock that our suppliers will bring in from overseas such as from China, ie. gloves and masks.