There are many studies that show that bonuses can have significant downsides. From motivating employees to use unscrupulous tactics to achieve bonuses, to the long-term negative motivations, it’s been proven that offering people incentives for performance can have disastrous consequences. If that’s the case, why do we still find doctors offering bonuses to their teams?

Maybe there are benefits…

Sure, giving incentives to reach goals should help motivate team members in the short term. Even when one is given daily or weekly bonuses, the power is still reduced over time. But, there’s no doubt that when the bonus is paid, team members are excited and happy. Morale can soar.

However, what about jealousy? How do we handle those who are part time employees? Or perhaps different bonuses for different positions?

If your TC currently converts at 70% but you’d like her to be at 90%, or perhaps you’d like her to hit a specific number of starts, would a bonus help? If she does hit that number, does no bonus get paid to those who helped that new patient get to the TC in the first place? And when the bonus gets paid, is it really in the best interests of the cash flow of the practice?

Don’t forget taxes. When you pay bonuses, do you take care of the taxes, or, do you expect the team members to pay the taxes? There’s no right or wrong and I’ve seen every permutation.

So, do you bonus? If so, who do you bonus and how? Last, how has it worked and what would you do differently?

Wishing you the best,

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GLENN KRIEGER IS AN ORTHODONTIST WITH 20 YEARS OF RESTORATIVE AND COSMETIC DENTISTRY EXPERIENCE BEFORE HE RETURNED TO ORTHODONTIC RESIDENCY. DR. KRIEGER LEARNED ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF WELL-DESIGNED PRACTICE POLICIES AND SYSTEMS DURING A YEAR AT THE SCHUSTER CENTER FOR PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT IN SCOTTSDALE ARIZONA, AND AN UNDERSTANDING OF GENERAL ACCOUNTING PRACTICES AND INDUSTRIAL PSYCHOLOGY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON GRADUATE BUSINESS SCHOOL’S “DENTIST AS CEO” PROGRAM. HE IS THE HOST OF “THE ORTHOPRENEURS PODCAST”, MANAGES THE ORTHOPRENEURS FACEBOOK GROUP AND RUNS THE ANNUAL ORTHOPRENEURS SUMMIT.

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