Edd Jones talks through how he successfully implemented a team bonus scheme at Hartley Dental in Plymouth . . . .
Don’t we all just love a bonus?! Quite right too, we deserve it don’t we? All that hard work, day in day out whilst looking presentable, turning up on time, being nice to customers etc – well actually, no.
Let me state from the outset, that I am a big fan of awarding bonuses to Practice teams – it gives everyone a common goal, plus something to buy into. However, what I am dead set against is just dishing out a yearly bonus, because we feel like we should do, or as “that’s what we’ve always done here.” No, no – NO.
The simple fact if the matter is that a bonus must be earned. Simply turning up for work, not going sick willy-nilly, looking presentable and doing your job well are not reasons for a bonus – team members are already being paid to achieve those things to a high standard – and quite right to, might I add.
If you are going to award bonuses, there should be targets set, which if met will equal that bonus. So what targets should be set?
The main targets a lot of businesses focus on are profitability and productivity, sounds reasonable and yes, this is absolutely what targets should be attached to – but we need to sugar coat them in a Dental setting to make them appeal to the team – ‘buy in’ is absolutely crucial. The first port of call is to ASK your team, 1) What targets do they think should be set, which are important to the business, understandable for them and achievable, and 2) What type/level of bonus should be attached to these targets?
The critical part of this process is to communicate with the team and ensure they give you some buy in to the process – it will benefit them in the longer term, but like everything in life – it won’t be easy or handed to them on a plate!
So if the team come up with some compelling suggestions, which fit with what the business is trying to achieve – bingo, you have your magic formula!
However, there may be occasion where one has to clasp the nettle and come up with something yourself. At Hartley Dental in Plymouth, we wanted to implement a target/bonus structure for 2017 that met the following criteria (excuse the repetition here):
2) Related to business objectives & increasing profitability,
3) Fully understood by the whole team.
We decided also that it would be a good idea to have a target for each particular area of the Practice, these being – front of house, the Clinicians/Nurses and an overall team target. We came up with the following:
1) Sundry Sales:
This is a target for the whole team and is an area in which, every member of the teamcan have a positive impact. Sundry sales are never going to fund your retirement, but are a useful addition to the income of a Practice, especially if you stock and (correctly price) electric toothbrushes… Our target is £500 in sales (gross) per month, or £6,000 per year. The target is run annually and the incentives are as below:
1) Yearly target exceeded by 10% (£6,600) = Bottle of champagne for each member of the team,
2) Yearly target exceeded by 20% (£7,200) = Bottle of champagne each & a beauty treatment for the ladies or appropriate reflective prize for the gents,
3) Yearly target exceeded by 50% (£9,000) = Bottle of champagne and £100 each,
4) Yearly target exceeded by 100% (£12,000) = A 2 day trip to Barcelona for the team, including flights and 1 nights hotel stay.
If a holiday doesn’t add a fruity incentive for the team, nothing will!
2) Maintenance to Care Plan Conversion:
One for the clinicians, including the Nurses, don’t let them off the hook here! This target is really simple to understand and one that will bring a real benefit to the Practice if taken seriously by the clinical team. The target and bonus is very simple – as follows:
1) For every 10 people converted from maintenance plan to care plan, each clinician gets a £50 bonus.
To give you an idea of the importance of this target – Hartley has 10 less people on their care plan than on their maintenance plan, yet the income from the care plan (which covers restorative treatments for orally healthy patients – crowns, bridges, fillings etc) generates TWICE the income of the maintenance plan.
3) New Patient Conversions:
One for the Front of House team. Getting quality new patients through the door is always a focus for the Practice and the long term profitability of the business largely hangs on the teams effectiveness in this area. The target and bonus is as follows on a monthly basis:
1) Target = 70% conversion of enquiries to paid new patient appointments each month (£100 for a new patient assessment and £225 for an Orthodontic assessment). Bonus = £50 for each member of the front of house team if the target is met each month.
A tough target, but one that could top up the front of house teams salary by £600 per year – not to be sniffed at!
So there you have it – some simple, measurable and understandable targets for your team to get their teeth stuck into!
Oh and by the way – Hartley has also brought in a subsequent target and associated bonus relating to current patients referring their friends and family to the Practice – but enough free advice for today!
Enjoy everyone and I hope this helps!
Edd Jones, YDM Business Partner South West (C&E Consult).