In Part I we discussed some of the less tangible and peripheral items that can lead to success or failure of an incentive based bonus system. In Part II we will talk about more of the specifics of an incentive based system.
The most common and typically recommended system for incentive based pay is to replace annual cost-of-living raises with a production or collection-based incentive or bonus system. This system would reward employees for contributing to the growth and improved success of the dental practice.
The system would typically look at the production or collections from one period and compare them to another period. If production or collections are up a certain level, based on goals set, then a bonus pool would be paid out to staff. If the prior period for comparison is not a good measuring stick, then any level could be set as a goal. The important part is to set goal that is both attainable and measurable.
It is important to make sure you do not pay this bonus pool out equally. Paying the pool out equally rewards the poorer performers and does not, adequately, reward the top performers. If this happens it actually acts to disincentivize the team. The top performers are less motivated because they see that the poor performers are bonused the same amount. And the poor performers learn that they can be rewarded with little or no effort on their part.
A system needs to be established for goal setting and monitoring how well employees are reaching their goals and contributing to the success of the practice growth.
Regardless of the exact details of the compensation system, keep in mind that employee satisfaction and buy-in is also strongly related to you and how you treat the employees. Nothing can substitute telling them “good job” and “thank you”. Give your staff good, positive feedback. When appropriate give them constructive feedback as well. When done correctly many employees will value positive and constructive feedback just as much as a bonus.
If you would like help setting up an incentive based compensation system for your dental practice, do not hesitate to contact our office.