How valuable are you to your practice?


Does this question keep you up at night? Or do you lie there wondering about your job security? Maybe you’re questioning why you’re not getting a raise? To the latter question, I can certainly relate.

Does this question keep you up at night?

Or do you lie there wondering about your job security? Maybe you’re questioning why you’re not getting a raise? To the latter question, I can certainly relate.

I want a raise! I deserve it. That was what I thought. But when I approached my boss, her question to me was, “Why? Why should you get a raise?”

It’s a valid question. Why should you get a raise? I’d love to just respond, “Why not?” But I’m guessing that’s not the best answer. Instead, I went to the experts.

What I learned was that the question you should be asking prior to worrying about a raise is this: How valuable are you to your dental practice? I sought the experts’ input and asked them just what makes an employee valuable … valuable to the point of eventually getting a raise.

Related link: Before handing out the raise

At day’s end, when you understand your value as an employee, whether you have job security or are facing a potential job loss beyond your control, knowing your value can help you thrive or bounce back despite the outcome.

Continue to the next page to see a checklist to help you determine your value as an employee. Check off which ones apply to you.



  • Do you love your job? (If you don’t, it probably shows.)

  • Do you like the people you work with? (Or, are you a negative force disrupting your practice?)

  • Do you have a “unique” skill that your boss doesn’t have? (Maybe computer skills, organization skills or something that makes you irreplaceable?)

  • Do you have a personal relationship with your patient that the boss doesn’t have? (If the patient is afraid of the dentist, are they afraid of you, too? Or are you able to alleviate the fears and be useful?)

  • Are you bringing in new patients to the practice? (Your value is exponentially related if you can do something for the bottom line. Don’t be mistaken … it is all about the bottom line.)

  • Are you thorough and do you do the work that your boss doesn’t want to do? (It will make you quite valuable to do the jobs that your boss hates.)

  • Do you help with corporate culture and make it a fun practice to work at? (If you aren’t positive, it shows.)

  • Do you train new employees and make them feel like they belong to the practice family? (This connects with the bottom line. Staff retention is crucial, because it costs too much to replace staff. To keep new staff and bring them into the fold is critical.)

  • Are you reliable and on time? (If you say you’ll do something, do it. Your word is the most important part of being professional, not just for the patients but for your colleagues.)

  • Are you flexible with your schedule? (Will you help to put the customer or practice first? That will make a huge difference when deciding your worth to the practice.)

  • Are you continuing your professional growth and development? (If you aren’t on the cutting edge in our industry that definitely lessens your worth. You have to continue to grow yourself as well as your practice.)

  • Do you use creativity in problem-solving? (How smart are you? Can you think outside the box? Being creative is critical for all practices.)

  • Do you solve problems instead of creating them. (If you are making the problems instead of resolving them yourself, only a serious micromanager boss will like that. Most don’t want to know about problems until they are solved or until you have a solution.)

  • Do you manage other employees? (Managing others saves time for the dentist. If you can’t handle your subordinates, you may not be as valuable as someone who can.)

  • Do you work well on your team? (It’s all about team playing. If you don’t play nice with others in your sandbox, then run home to Mama at this point. You have to figure out a way to get along with everyone … not just the ones you like.)

Related link: Understand why employees may be exiting

How many of those 15 items do you already do? There is no score card for you to get a final answer as to how valuable you are. You have to figure that out. Play nice in the sandbox and figure out how to bring more money into the practice (as well as save money for the practice).

What’s important is that you start evaluating your worth. After all, if you don’t know what your value is, how are you going to convince your boss of how valuable you are?

If you have feedback for me, email


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