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Five tips to set up staff incentives for meeting practice goals


Here are five tips you can use to set up incentive plans that will achieve your practice’s goals and inspire employees.


You pay competitive wages for a job well done. If you want more than just a “good job” from your employees, an incentive plan may help. It must be tied to an improvement, a practice goal, or other measurable standard, however. Here are five tips you can use to set up incentive plans that will achieve your practice’s goals and inspire employees.

1. Bonus pool for new patients

Let’s say your practice averages 20 new patients per month, but you want to increase that to 25 new patients per month.

More new patients means more work for the staff. An incentive, such as a bonus pool that can be split among the staff, may be a way to make more work attractive to employees. It can encourage them to remind patients to refer their friends and family to your practice, and thereby increase practice income by growing the patient panel.

2. Paid time off

Paid time off is often more rewarding than a small monetary incentive

If you have a slow day, one staff member at a time might be able to take the day off. This costs nothing extra but can be a big bonus for a busy, stressed employee. 

Still, be sure that the reward is tied to a desired change.

3. Don’t force employees into group activities

If your team is varied in ages and interests, a group activity may not be a reward at all. Let them spend their time the way they want to.

In that case, set up a pool of cash that is distributed among the participating team members. Split that on hours worked, or equally if you want everyone to pull together. 

4. Make bonus payments more frequent

Make sure that the bonus distribution is at least quarterly, perhaps even monthly.  For example, if your practice’s goal is to exceed patient-generated revenue of $375,000 each quarter, a $2,000 staff bonus pool could be distributed for each additional $10,000 in revenue beyond that goal.

If you limit pay-outs to annual installments, your staff members can lose energy and neglect to focus on the practice’s goals.

5. Use a bonus plan template

There is no need to re-invent the wheel when building a bonus plan.

I offer a sample bonus plan for use in medical practices. The plan includes benchmarks for patient-generated revenue that triggers the bonus plan, spells out how the bonus pool is distributed among employees, and other information. It can be adapted to meet the needs of any practice. 

Judy Bee is a practice management consultant with Practice Performance Group in La Jolla, California. Send your practice management questions to medec@advanstar.com.

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