In the lead up to Mother’s Day, we’re celebrating one of our amazing mums – Renee Sharland, Practice Manager for National Dental Care Algester. Renee has worked at the Algester clinic for 20 years and draws on her experience as a mother, to help run the practice as a manager.
What has been your experience with having 3 kids and returning to work?
“I have three children – Henry 10, Charles 7 and George 5”, says Renee. “They keep me very busy! I came back full time after 4 months off with Henry, part time after 8 months off with Charles, and part time after 4 months off with George. I’m back full time now and loving it.”
She credits her amazing team with making her feel comfortable about going on maternity leave and coming back. “It’s such a close community in our practices and everyone is so supportive," beams Renee.
Renee also gives recognition to the motivation and support that NDC give to women returning from maternity leave. “I was worried that I’d be limited career-wise going on maternity leave and coming back. NDC enabled me to still focus on my career, even with 3 children at home to look after. As a mum I think we worry about being stuck doing the same thing or having limited opportunities, but I still have room to grow in my profession at NDC.”
What traits as a mother do you bring into your work life?
Renee may be a mother of 3 at home, but she has also become a mother figure to everyone at the dental practices. “They call me mother hen”, Renee muses, “and they know that they can come to me for help with any problem, work or personal.”
“I think the traits I’ve picked up being a mother transfer really well into my role as a practice manager. I try to create an atmosphere of calm, encouragement and comfort for my staff members so that they can focus on the job at hand without negative distractions.” Renee uses her motherly attributes of compassion, understanding and patience to create a sense of continuity and reassurance at the practice.
“I have an open door policy, as a manager it’s important that I create a family style environment where I connect on a deeper level with my colleagues. I want to make sure that my staff members are setting themselves achievable goals and that they have a good work life balance. There are other people in the practice that have children so I like providing them with that extra bit of support, as someone who knows the struggle!”
What do you think a parent looks for in a dental practice?
“Taking my child to the dentist, I definitely look for a practice that has friendly staff who are compassionate, tolerant and patient. Those attributes are very important when dealing with children.”
How has your mother influenced you in your career?
“I wouldn’t have this job if it wasn’t for my mum,” says Renee. “I was planning on taking a gap year after school and she spotted an ad for a dental assistant in our local newspaper. I’ve now been at the practice for over 20 years so thanks to her, I have a career that I’m proud of. The support and love from my mum has allowed me to do what I want to do.”
Luckily for Renee, her mother and mother-in-law help out a lot with the children. “They assist with school pickups, drop offs and babysit on the odd occasion.”
What are your plans for Mother’s Day?
“We always have a big family lunch on Mother’s Day. Luckily, my mum and mother-in-law get along really well so we usually do a joint event. I still feel like Mother’s Day is all about my spoiling the mum’s and spending time as a family.”