October 25, 2018

Everyone in an aesthetic practice plays an essential role in the sales process. A successful consultation process and outstanding patient experience require effort and the synchronization of your entire practice team. No one can “win” alone.

We believe team bonuses are more effective at improving collaboration and performance than role-based bonuses. When you incentivize the team instead of the individual, you create a collaborative environment in which all employees work together to build patient relationships and enhance the bottom line.

How do you set up a team bonus system?

A practice in the west multiplies each quarter’s net income against a pre-set percentage of net income. The resulting bonus pool is allocated to all staff that interact with the patient: from the front desk to the patient care coordinator to the medical assistant. The allocation amount is based on the number of hours each employee worked during that quarter. Everybody gets something, even those who work part time.

An aesthetic group in the south also pays a quarterly bonus based on net income. But the physicians decide on the amount to allocate, quarter by quarter. They base it on the overall performance of the entire staff, both clinical and administrative, and allocate the pool based on established percentages for each team. For example: patient care coordinators equally share in X% of the bonus pool. Clinical staff equally share in Y% of the bonus pool. Front desk staff share equally in Z% of the bonus pool.

Here are five things that will improve the success of your team bonus plan.

1. Determine what you want the bonus system to achieve.

Is the goal to increase revenue? Improve teamwork? Boost surgery volume? Decrease turnover? Build your plan to align with these goals so everyone understands what you are aiming to achieve.

2. Include everyone: both full and part time.

In order for team bonuses to work, everyone must feel they are part of the reward system. Rewarding everyone goes a long way to encouraging teamwork and inspiring performance. Even if part timers receive only a small portion based on the formula you choose, they are still receiving something, and won’t feel left out.

3. Set a comfortable starting point.

If the practice has never offered bonuses before, it’s important that the physician be comfortable with the amount of the pool. Establish a percentage of net income that’s on the low side, or a flat quarterly amount that feels comfortable based on profit history. Starting conservatively gives you room to increase the bonus pool amount over time, instead of having to dial down the first year’s amount if you feel it was set too high.

4. Keep it simple.

A simple plan is easy to explain, easy to understand, and easy to manage. All of these things are important in order for staff to achieve their targets. A bonus pool with percentage allocations is much easier to manage than one that has bonus calculations for a series of metrics.

5. Monitor, modify, and make improvements.

After staff start receiving bonus checks, they feel more invested in practice success and become acutely interested in making improvements that drive efficiency and revenue. Use this positive environment to fine-tune your systems and identify any stumbling blocks that could limit goal achievement.

For instance, because increasing the Patient Acceptance Rate (PAR) increases scheduled surgeries and therefore improves revenue, ask the team to evaluate each part of the process that impacts the PAR. Who “owns” each step? What could be changed to improve the patient experience? How could the team pull together for a better outcome and increased PAR?

When the team is inspired to evaluate current processes and make improvements that achieve your bonus plan goals, patients are better served, revenue improves, and everybody wins.

 

Author - Karen Zupko, President
An internationally recognized thought leader and speaker, Karen Zupko advises physicians and healthcare managers about the challenges and trends impacting the practice of medicine. Click here for more info about the author.