How Team Members Can Help Improve Practice Profits and Earn More Raises
Your team members want and expect bumps in pay from time to time. They work hard, after all, and want their efforts to be recognized. The problem is, you can’t hand out larger paychecks if practice revenues are down. Of course, this isn’t something team members want to hear, which means they might start to resent the practice and become unhappy with their job if raise requests aren’t granted—especially if they’re under the impression the practice is doing better financially than it really is.
Some dentists give in to requests for raises simply to avoid upsetting team members, even if they know they don’t have the money for it. They convince themselves the extra few dollars an hour won’t really hurt the practice. But while employees are thrilled with their higher income, even those small increases can send overhead costs soaring—causing financial damage to the practice.
Here’s an example of what you can say to new employees to make your approach to raises clear:
Sarah, I’ll review your salary on your one-year employment anniversary. Any increase will be dependent on your performance and contributions to the practice, as well as the financial health of the business.
When outlining performance measurements, be specific. For example, don’t just say you want your Treatment Coordinator to reach out to past due patients. Instead, say you expect this team member to reach out to five patients on the recall list every day and to get those patients on the schedule.
To keep team members on the right track, I also suggest you offer continual feedback. When you see them doing something that isn’t quite right, take them aside to discuss how they can improve. When you see them going above and beyond, offer them praise and let them know you appreciate their efforts. They’ll be more motivated to either improve their performance or keep up the good work—doing their part to move the practice forward while also earning their raises.
Make raises possible
I also suggest you conduct an Employee Salary Review before giving out any raises. In about 10 minutes, you’ll know exactly how much money you need to bring in to grow the practice and make pay increases possible, which will help ensure you keep salaries within the industry benchmark.
Just in case you’re tempted to ignore the salary benchmark and give out raises when you really shouldn’t, let me give you can example of how that can hurt your practice:
Let’s say your current monthly collections are $48,325 and your existing salaries are $9,353. That means a $2 hourly raise from $15 to $17 for your assistant, who works a 36-hour week, will increase existing salaries to $9,665. This is within the 20% industry benchmark and won’t hurt your practice. But, if collections are $39,000 and existing salaries are $9,353, that small $2 pay bump puts salaries at 24% of collections. That’s well above the industry standard and is enough to leave you struggling to make ends meet.
A more profitable practice leads to more raises
Interested in speaking to Sally about your practice concerns? Email firstname.lastname@example.org