Dental Talent – The Problem of Playing Favourites in Dental Practices

When it comes to the management of any business or enterprise, nepotism is among the worst sins you could commit as a leader. It damages the morale of your staff, presents a negative image to your patients, and creates unhealthy conflict and competition in the practice. The problem with nepotism is that it might go undetected; you may think you’re being fair, but your unconscious biases might show up in your interactions with your partners and staff.

What Playing Favourites Does for Employee Morale

Ideally speaking, any organization or company should reward good work. Everyone should be treated equally and fairly at all times. When there are clear favourites, however, this ruins the supposed meritocracy every business should be aiming for.

When you have favourites, it’s easy to inadvertently end up neglecting the noteworthy contributions of the more talented dentists in your employ in favour of the ones you like better. You might also end up glossing over their errors, giving them too much leeway. With the structure of meritocracy ruined, the end result will be an environment that breeds resentment among colleagues.

In such an environment, why would anyone work to the best of their ability and beyond if the rewards are not equal? Why would your employees take initiative beyond the bare minimum if they will not be treated fairly either way?

Teamwork Would Be Out of the Question

professional female psychotherapist discussing therapy results with male client
Photo by Alex Green on

You might have the best dental talent in the UK, but without cohesiveness, your practice is highly unlikely to succeed. It immediately drives a wedge between those who are in favour and those who are not. Not only would you end up placing your favoured employees in an uncomfortable position, but the rest of your employees might also end up failing to balance their own interests with that of the enterprise.

Without a good impression of the company, your employees will be less likely to recommend your practice to their peers as a place to work. This could end up with you failing to attract and recruit the most talented dentists. After all, highly qualified and skilled applicants will have their pick of the litter; they will pick the environment in which they feel they would be able to flourish in the long run.

Nepotism Breeds Unprofessional Behaviour

As we’ve mentioned before, favouritism in any environment can create resentment and jealousy. Eventually, this might lead to unhealthy competition and awful interpersonal relationships among your colleagues. This, in turn, will result in unprofessional behaviour in time—at great expense to the whole business.

Even just the unconscious negative perceptions that may form as a result of nepotism might hinder the unity and synergy of the practice as a whole. If things get really bad, your employees may even work to sabotage each other rather than together in a single shared endeavour.

Final Thoughts

To combat favouritism in the workplace, it is important to maintain professional connections in the workplace. Clear lines must be drawn between managers and employees; everyone must be treated fairly at all times. Not only is it good for your practice in the long run, but a fair and equitable environment is good for attracting the best and most talented dentists and employees.

If you’re looking for dental talent in the UK, why not check out our listings at Dental Talent? We are partnered with The British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry to face the challenges of recruitment.