We are winding up the success principles for an effective bonus system today. You will find some important, yet difficult, essential principles to incorporate this week.
- Doctor must act quickly to eliminate incompatible staff. You are going to have to make the hard decisions and make them quickly. Waiting means a lack of direction and commitment by the doctor. The good thing is that when your staff sees this new commitment, they will see the leader in you beginning to emerge. Done correctly, you will see them lining up to follow you. You will see a consensus of commitment. Most offices seem like each staff member has a rope they pitch over a big rock and then begin pulling in different directions. This is a sign of a lack of leadership. Become the leader, and they all begin to pull in the same direction. This is called synergism. Where 2 or 3 get the work done of 5 or 6. This synergistic effect is an effort multiplier. It takes less stress, effort, and staff to get the results that previously seemed impossible. The added benefit is that none of your staff will want to leave. A “Doctor Led Practice” is addictive to everyone and anyone can learn to do this.
- The bonus must benefit each team member each month. The ideal way of rewarding someone for what they do is to catch them doing what you want and pay them. Waiting to pay a bonus quarterly or yearly does not reinforce the behavior you want repeated. As I said before, we pay every month on the 10th with a separate check from their regular pay periods. The closer you reward a person to the result or action you are encouraging the sooner it will be repeated. The Hawthorne Effect describes how what is measured gets done. If your priorities revolve around them making bonus, you will see every benchmark in your practice improve.
- Doctor must stop bartering. By trading for services or other items you are manipulating and stealing from your staff. If they understand this system, they know that any unrecorded production directly affects the amount of bonus they receive. You cannot keep two sets of books. You have, in a sense, taken on a partner who will monitor your overhead and watch closely how you conduct your business. Keep your integrity foremost in your mind. Treat your practice and staff the way you would like to be treated.
- The bonus must have the power to change someone’s life. Little bonuses get small results. You must get your practice to meet or exceed the benchmarks we have given you. Unless you have tamed the overhead monster and learned to drive profitability, you will never be able to pay enough to change their lives. My staff drove better cars than I did, and probably paid for nicer colleges for their kids than I did. When other practices asked me how I assembled such great staffs and doctors, I would have to say that they found me. We had an incredible reputation for our staff and doctors built on sharing the profits and encouraging an ownership mentality through transparent leadership, and management built on systems that were constantly improved by our staff with feedback from our patients.
Without even looking, I can tell you that if you are falling short in any area of your practice, Summit Practice Solutions can guide you to the next level of practice productivity. Just give me a call and let’s spend some time discussing the individual challenges you are encountering. This is how you Summit.
Michael Abernathy DDS