How to Use Bonuses to Help Motivate Your Dental Staff

If you integrate bonuses to help motivate your staff with proper planning and budgeting, it is an excellent way to help your dental team thrive and increase productivity. When there is a “carrot at the end of a stick”, it can increase employee motivation to encourage them to get things done and work hard, which will have knock on benefits to your patients. Employees that work hard and do their job to the best of their ability will mean that there will be a noticeable difference in the level of patient care.

Anyone who has managed a dental team before will have quickly realized that it can be a challenge to keep their employees motivated and engaged. A team that performs well and exceeds their targets will probably expect to be financially compensated for their efforts. This will make them feel valued and more likely to stay with your dental office.

For some jobs in the dental office, such as assistants and receptionists, the base level of pay is relatively low compared to what a fully qualified dentist is paid. Therefore, even a small bonus will go a long way to making these employees feel more comfortable in their position. If these employees feel that their efforts are being ignored, they will likely leave their jobs and the practice will have to spend more money replacing that staff member who has left and the cost of doing this will likely outweigh the cost of a bonus that would’ve kept them in their job in the first place.

There is the chance that your employees have been getting a pay rise each year in line with inflation, but they haven’t added any skills or developed any additional responsibility during their time of employment. This means they may be already getting a “bonus”, and they just don’t know it. This means you shouldn’t spend any more on additional bonuses. Just make them aware of the fact that they are getting a pay rise already each year, otherwise you could be paying far too much for the amount of work an employee does.

It is important not to over complicate the bonus system, and as a manager, you want to be seen as being fair. With this in mind, here are some of our top tips that have worked for other dental offices with regards to the payment of bonuses.

Tips for Bonuses to Help Motivate Staff

Simplicity is key

Employees like to be kept abreast of the money they earn. You will quickly notice that there may be an employee who takes the bonus initiative very seriously and this person should be scouted as being the “bonus” king or queen. Make an example of them, which will hopefully help gravitate the other employees to follow the example of this employee. You’d be surprised how effective this technique is. There could be another employee who sees right through the bonus initiative and fails to engage. Sometimes, one person’s view about the whole bonus scheme can be spread amongst the other employees, which can lead to the program being not as effective as it could have been. Therefore, you can see how important it is to have everyone onside.


Share the Plan for Bonuses

Make sure you lay out in what situations bonuses will be paid. The last thing you want to happen is if there is a disagreement over whether a bonus should be paid or not be paid. It is also important not to “move the goalposts” and change the rules as to when bonuses are paid. This can lead to disillusionment in the staff and in turn demotivate the whole team, and they will be less likely to buy into the bonus system as a result.


Make Bonuses Equal

It is key that bonuses are standardized. If there is a part time member of staff, it is recommended that you pay them a bonus the same as a full-time member of staff. It will show everyone who works there that they are a team, and nobody is more important than the other. If people see that bonuses are standardized, it will show everyone that each employee makes their own contribution to the running of the dental practice, and those who are paid more on their base salary will appreciate staff members who are paid less more as a result, which will encourage a sense of team work.


Pay the Bonus if the Staff Meet Your Targets…

There have been situations where staff members have managed to meet the targets that the manager has met, and because of financial issues, the bonuses were not paid. Therefore, it is important to plan ahead and keep the money set aside in case the targets are met. Failure to pay a bonus that is due to staff could cause you a major headache. Employees who are not paid their bonuses will quickly think they are not valued, and unhappiness can spread. If the unpaid bonus extends into a delay of a few months, your employees may move elsewhere. While a bonus may cost you, make sure you show how delighted you are that they are getting their bonus. At the end of the day, the practice has a whole has been successful due to their efforts.

bonuses to help motivate

Tax the Bonus

It is essential that you tax the bonus that the staff are given. Paying bonuses without taxing them can land you in hot water and cause an accounting nightmare.

As you can see, a simple and financially solid pathway of bonuses to help motivate your staff can increase employee motivation, satisfaction and work ethic. Failure to enact a bonus system that is paid on time could cause massive problems, and have the opposite effect of what you are looking to achieve. If you are seen to be an employer that values hard work and financially rewards employees for this, you will be more likely to attract the best talent to work for your practice.

Have you enacted bonuses to help motivate your staff into your dental practice? Did you notice an increase in employee motivation, productivity and engagement? Let us know, and we might feature your dental office in a future blog post.

This entry was posted in DentReps. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.