The Dental Practice Numbers Don’t Lie

  • Want to maximize your retirement savings?
  • Need funds for new equipment, technology, or an office renovation?
  • Want to get those debt burdens off your back?
  • Having a hard time making ends meet?

If you answer yes to any of these, then, like many dentists, you need a higher net income. Easier said than done, right?!? Actually, it doesn’t have to be that complicated. Let’s answer this question using the KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) method, it all comes down to the numbers.

You, working alone, can’t increase your bottom line; it is impossible. Therefore, you must engage, inspire, and encourage your team to perform in a manner that increases your income. Now, I am going to repeat that sentence because I want you to think about it for a minute longer. “Therefore, you must engage, inspire, and encourage your team to perform in a manner that increases YOUR income.”

Put yourself in the shoes of your team members and ask yourself this question…If you were working for you, what would make you work harder, take on more responsibility, learn more, and “follow orders” to increase THEIR income? Higher pay? A bonus? More benefits? Praise? Those are what most employees say.  In other words, people want to be rewarded for going above and beyond their normal “easiest for me” level of performance.

“What gets measured gets done, what gets done well gets rewarded,
 and what gets rewarded gets repeated.” – Unknown

But, how can you know when they have gone past their normal performance level?  It all comes down to the numbers. You must measure their performance and compare it to dental industry best-practice benchmarks and your dental practice’s past performance. That is the only way you, and they, will know if performance has improved and goals met.

Seeing the numbers in black and white makes it easier to attribute their effort to the practice success, which makes it easier to reward their efforts appropriately. Your team learns from the numbers how to be successful in your eyes. They also learn how their personal performance makes a difference in the practice’s success. Having their success acknowledged and rewarded provides the encouragement needed to repeat their performance.

Tracking and Rewarding Success

Of course, there are right and wrong ways to set-up, apply, and implement these measurements and rewards.  If done ineffectively, they can incentivize the wrong behavior and actions. If done effectively, they will take you, and your dental team, to a new level of success.

Setting up dental practice monitors is critical in order to comparatively see what is working and what isn’t. Here are some guidelines to establishing effective monitors that benefit both the practice and the team:

  • Monitors should be reported by each team member OUT LOUD to all other members of the team.
  • Monitors should be reflective of the reporting individual’s job duties.
  • Reporting should be set-up chronologically for comparison, to track progress, and to reflect the value of time.
  • Mandatory monthly team meeting with reporting of monitors should occur, never less often.
  • Clearly communicated Markers such as best-practice industry benchmarks, internal goals, and historical data should be reviewed during reporting.

Now that you know how the practice is performing, it is important that the team is appropriately rewarded for their efforts. Having a clearly communicated and transparent reward system in place provides an even playing field for all and lowers the risk for hurt feelings or upset employees.

These are universal reward guidelines for any Employee Reward System.

  • Base rewards on team performance, not individual performance. This encourages teamwork.
  • Base rewards on Collections, NOT Production.
  • Base rewards on a three-month average, not a monthly figure.
  • Make calculations of reward transparent to all to sense fairness.
  • Distribute reward no less frequently than monthly.  This helps employees correct or repeat desired performance sooner and more frequently.
  • Assure your goals are realistic and achievable. This creates motivation.
  • Reevaluate and adjust goals annually
    • CPI increases (your costs go up, so much your income.)
    • Fee schedule increases (same % increase to your goals)
  • Make sure the reward is an adequate amount (minimum $100.00).  A reward of $10.00 is an insult.

Ready to increase your bottom line? Call me and let’s get busy making it a reality.

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