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Gold Stevie Award Winner 2019, Click to Enter The 2020 Stevie Awards for Great Employers

Company: Smile Brands Inc., Irvine, CA USA

Nomination Category: Employer of the Year -Health Products & Services


Nomination Title: Smile Brands Inc


Employer of the Year Essay


Smile Brands Inc. is one of the largest dental support organizations (DSO) in the U.S. with 420 affiliated practices. The organization’s mission of delivering Smiles for Everyone® serves as the guiding principal for how we interact with employees, providers, patients and our communities. Smile Brands was honored as the #2 ranked healthcare employer in the U.S. on Glassdoor’s 2019 Best Places to Work list, and CEO Steven C. Bilt has twice been named a Glassdoor Top CEO.

The company’s goal is to expand access to care by making dentistry easier and more affordable. Convenient locations, extended hours, flexible financing and transparent pricing help differentiate Smile Brands affiliated practices. But the true patient experience is defined by patient interactions with our 4500+ employees and affiliated providers. Every employee is trained on our G3® Service Model – Greeting, Guiding and Gratitude. Every office is monitored via Net Performer Score surveys and online ratings to ensure they are delivering great care. In an era of flat or declining dental revenues, Smile Brands revenue was up 9% in 2018. Average Google ratings across all practices top 4.4 stars, and the organization’s NPS score of 72 is unparalleled in healthcare where Primary Care Physician scores average just 35 and healthcare plans score under 20.

Since 2018, Smile Brands has implemented numerous initiatives to enhance Smiles for Everyone:


1. Ongoing Recognition and Celebration

In 2019, we introduced Commit. Connect. Deliver. Celebrate., which reinforces the fundamentals of building successful patient and team relationships and the need to continually remind each other of the positive impact we have on patients. Teams are encouraged to engage in a variety of company-sponsored programs, including:

· Monthly “Culture Calendar” team building activities

· Weekly Celebrate. Everyday. Miracles.™ gatherings

· Daily employee stories on the company intranet

· Daily social sharing on our proprietary app -SmileBook

· Management shout-outs via email and written thank you cards

· Ongoing market-level contests and recognition around key initiatives

· Awards at the Annual Leadership Meeting


2. Improved Tools to Simplify Practice Management

Dentistry is an increasingly complex business which is why more private practices are choosing to affiliate with a DSO. In the past year, Smile Brands has taken steps to simplify processes for existing affiliates and to make integrating new affiliates more seamless. Some big advances include:

· Automated the posting of insurance payments, enabling nearly half of all payments to be posted without human intervention

· Launched an automated insurance eligibility look-up tool, saving staff significant time in helping patients understand the extent of their coverage

· Developed a state-of-the-art online booking tool to address rising expectations for patient self-service

· Expanded access to SMS and chat tools to help our teams communicate with patients via their preferred platforms

· Developed a standard integration playbook to guide new affiliates through the process of migrating to Smile Brands’ support services. Expect to add over 50 practices in 2019.


3. Major Investments in Training at all levels

Dentistry is evolving rapidly based on new technologies and digital capabilities. Smile Brands has invested heavily in digital scanning equipment and training to keep affiliated providers on the forefront of areas such as dental implants, endodontics and clear aligner therapy. In 2019, we relaunched Smile University, our online Learning Management System, with significantly improved content to facilitate employee onboarding, compliance and front office staff training.


4. Dramatic Growth of Smiles for Everyone Foundation. Previous ownership paused all Foundation activity from 2014 to 2016. When Steve Bilt returned to the business, he quickly took action to reestablish our commitment to the communities we serve. In 2019, over 1000 employees will participate in foundation activities including our Days of Giving, Smile Makeovers and International outreaches. The Foundation is on track to reach a new milestone with $4M in donated dentistry this year.


Employer of the Year Summary

The Smiles for Everyone culture has never been stronger at Smile Brands, and it is yielding dividends in terms of both business results and employee engagement.

· Last 12 month revenue up 8%

· Added over 300 employees since January 2018

· General dentist turnover down 20% vs. pre-acquisition level

· Glassdoor rating of 4.6 stars. 94% would recommend Smile Brands to a friend, and CEO Steve Bilt has a 98% approval rating

· 40 new affiliated practices have joined Smile Brands since the beginning of 2018


Recent Honors:

2018/2019 Glassdoor Best Places to Work (ranked #25 overall/#2 Healthcare provider)

2018/2019 Glassdoor Top CEO (ranked #29)

2019 Corporate Social Responsibility Program of the Year – Silver Stevie Award

2018 Healthcare Employer of the year – Gold Stevie Award

2018 People Focused CEO of the year – Gold Stevie Award

2018 Communitas Excellence in Community Service Award


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