Quantifying and Qualifying Goals, Ambitions and Expectations
For Entering Dental Private Practice

A Wants and Needs Analysis for Graduating Dental Students

You have been invited by the Executive Committee of the Australian Dental Students Association to participate in a Socio-Economic research project aimed at helping graduating dental students become better equipped for the transition between dental school and private practice.

This research is being conducted by Aararat Consulting (www.aararat.com) under the supervision and direction of Dr. Kevin Orieux. Aararat Consulting performs research to identify and define etiological factors that contribute to “Disengagement” and  dysfunctional workplace social and economic dynamics (please refer to Dr. Orieux’s TED Talk on this subject). Aararat Consulting then develops training programs from this evidence-based research that defeats Disengagement and creates a more harmonious workplace environment and culture.

This is a longitudinal study. Dental students who participate in this study by filling out answers to the 12 questions below, will be given the opportunity to participate in a follow up survey after they have been in private practice for one year. Those dentists who participate in this research project after one year in private practice will be provided with a summary report of the cumulative data, which will be valuable for your career decisions and goal setting in subsequent years in private practice.

Below, please refer to the Preamble which explains how a Wants and Needs Analysis is an integral component in corporate psychology, helping people make optimal decisions for their career and career advancement.

 

 

PREAMBLE TO WANTS AND NEEDS ANALYSIS

 

The purpose of a Wants and Needs Analysis is to close “gaps” between expectations and realities. This is an extension of what Dr. Roger A. Kaufman, Professor at USC  San Diego originally described in 1975 in organizational psychology as a Needs Assessment which subsequently evolved into a branch of corporate psychology involving the study of social expectations and wants, in addition to perceived needs.

In workplace dynamics, the difference between perceived wants and needs vs. one’s perception of compensation (professionally, personally as well as financially) can be defined as a “gap” where the gap is measured between workplace expectations and reality. The longer an individual has been involved in any given industry, the more experience they have with the logistics, function and especially the inner politics of the industry. Therefore the gaps will typically become smaller as cognitive reality supersedes  initial unrealistic expectations, and as perceived entitlement diminishes. Conversely, when someone is new to a job and especially if they are applying for their first job in a new industry, the gap between expectations and reality is widest, therefore unmet expectations typically develop into disparaging attitudes and disappointments. Under such conditions, “Workplace Disengagement” is much more inevitable.

From a social and psychological perspective, when an employee experiences disappointment (real or imagined) the energy, emotion, and effort they invest on the job becomes diminished. Diminished effort and enthusiasm on the job is an etiological root for job dissatisfaction, which is defined in corporate psychology literature as Disengagement.  An employee will typically start to view their role as less important than they originally perceived their job to be, leading to mental and emotional questions about one’s worth to the organization.  This typically creates a “Cause and Effect psychological vortex in workplace dynamics, not just for the employee, but for anyone in the employee’s Environmental Dynamic (def:  Environmental Dynamic is the sphere of influence an employee has with others i.e.  co-workers within a department, branch office, etc). While dissatisfaction is qualitative, studies show that employees can feel they are less than appreciated, as determined by how they perceive and interpret how managers and co-workers :

a) provide recognition and constructive feedback

b) tangibly demonstrate empathetic understanding,

c) acknowledge quantifiable metrics to performance 

d) affix tangible forms of reward and value to the employee’s contribution at work

As the employee’s self-perceived appreciation diminishes, so does the productivity and efficiency of the employee. When the “gap” is sufficiently wide, unless preventative steps are taken by management, the employee will most likely leave the organization due to dissatisfaction. The purpose of properly measuring and interpreting a Wants and Needs Analysis is therefore fundamental for  any organization wanting to  mitigate the costs  of  employee turnover, loss  of  experience and talent, decreased morale in workplace Environmental Dynamics, as all as these factors result in added costs for rehiring and retraining replacements due to employee attrition.

Please respond to the questions as per the following instructions.

At the end of this analysis you will be given the opportunity to submit your name and email address in the event that you want to receive the results of this research project after you have been in private practice for one year. Please note: it is not mandatory that you provide this information as the survey can be anonymous.  If you have any specific questions you would like addressed personally, with respect to entering private practice or securing an Associateship position, you are welcome to send an email directly to Dr. Kevin Orieux, the president of Aararat Consulting at:

drkorieux@aararat.com

and in the subject line write:   “Wants and Needs Analysis”.