It’s happened to everyone: You walk into a business that is doing everything right, but has a staff member or two who are lacking.
This can affect your impression of the business.
You know that running a successful practice means having a team that is as motivated and invested in the success of the business as you are. The staff not only want to see the business grow, but are taking actions to achieve this vision. Here are three successful strategies you can implement that will create happy, owner-minded staff for your practice.
Hourly bonus system based on collections
Yes, you read that right—an hourly bonus. You are probably more familiar with bonuses based on a one-time, flat-dollar amount. For the hourly bonus, consider giving each employee a base collection level (it can be different for each employee). For every thousand dollars that is collected over that base, they make a certain increment more per hour the entire next month.
For example, let’s say you have an employee who makes $13 per hour and their base level is $24,000. Their increment could be 20 cents. Supposing last month you collected $30,000, that puts this staff member $6,000 over their base level and thus they get 20 cents for each $1,000. This translates to an additional $1.20 per hour and means they are now making $14.20 per hour the entire month.
Try putting your new hires’ base level at around your six-month average collection level, giving them a taste of the bonus. You will notice something major once you give your staff bonuses—they will get used to them and want to keep them.
What happens if collections begin to slip and their bonus starts to drop? You will see your staff making recalls, asking for referrals, suggesting products, or gift certificates. They’ll be more motivated to get people enrolled in care, making sure patients keep their appointments, and finding even more creative ways to grow the practice. They’ll start to take action (just like an owner).
From the viewpoint of a staff member, it is empowering to be in charge of your own pay rate. You can use a program that records each staff member’s bonus settings. All you have to do each month is enter the collections and hand off the generated calculation sheet to your payroll handler so they can make the necessary adjustments.
You can include in each paycheck a pay rate breakdown and personal message regarding the bonus. You’ll likely find that your team keeps these because they are proud—similar to hanging a great test score on the refrigerator.
Reward the behavior you want
This is something you’ll regularly see in your office if you have a program for your team that rewards them for what you expect and want to see more of. It can be based on points that later translate into gift cards, bonuses on checks, or extra massage time.
The categories you create and assign a point value to should reflect their importance. You can include basic things related to employment like perfect attendance (not even being one minute late, not leaving work early or calling out), putting in requests for time off with enough notice, or no time-card edits.
You can take it a step further and include things like getting a good review posted on social media, good customer feedback, getting adjusted, giving a health talk on a topic, attending a chiropractic seminar, or making a healthy meal and sharing the recipe with the team.
Not only do you get the benefit of a team that follows your policies, which makes your life easier, but it also helps your team embrace your company culture.
Once a week, your staff enters in their points and a leader (or you) can verify them. Then, every quarter, award prizes based on the point range that they fall into.
At the end of the year, you can present awards to the top three highest point-earners at the company holiday party. You’ll be surprised how many times your staff will refuse to make last minute appointments during their regular schedule because they don’t want to mess up their points for that week.
Invest in them
Invest in the education of your staff. There’s a wide range of training options available. There are companies like Fred Pryor Seminars that do trainings on basics like communication, leadership skills, and customer service. This invests in their personal and professional growth, while you reap the benefits of improved employees.
Staff in turn are thankful to have an employer who is giving them the tools to succeed in their positions and encouraging them to expand their knowledge of their current position. What better way to help your chiropractic office than staff who are knowledgeable about chiropractic?
There are seminars that have excel- lent courses geared directly to CAs. They will be more invested in your office and your profession and also feel valued. You are only as strong as your weakest link. Take the time to have a team invested in the growth of your business, that feels valued, and has the proper tools and the empowerment to succeed.
Miles Bodzin, DC, is founder and CEO of the Inc. 5000- listed company Cash Practice Systems.
Amber Shepard has served the chiropractic profession for 10 years as Bodzin’s CA. For the past seven years she has served as the company’s coordinating manager. Cash Practice Systems offers web-based software for chiropractors to implement a four-step process resulting in increased patient retention. They can be contacted at 877-343-8950 ext 101, firstname.lastname@example.org, or through cashpractice.com.