Whether you are the team captain (owner) of the practice or any of the stars on the team, everyone needs and appreciates “pats on the back” for going “supernova” from time to time.
Pats on the Back
Yes, a literal pat on the back or even words of appreciation are vital to the health of any team or member of it when production is outstanding.
And then again, many practices have worked out some very successful monetary bonus systems which are also very key to promoting continually elevated levels of production.
Keep in mind though that while these are important and should be offered and earned by production, the extra money often just goes into the family coffers and the staff member doesn’t get anything personally.
End of the year bonuses are also kind of a “yawn” these days because we are living in an age of instant “scratch and win” wherein a reward earned now by production now should be rewarded now, not 6 or 8 months later. Otherwise, it is not an ongoing incentive … just a big push at the end of the year. Turn this desire for instant gratification to your advantage by incentivizing your team in current time.
Above and beyond
Sometimes however a certain person on the team goes supernova and does something quite amazing above and beyond normal expectancies. This could merit a “Supernova Award.” What this could be should be surveyed with the team as to what they would consider as “above and beyond.”
For instance, a day at a spa might be something that a staff member would never do for themselves. Other examples could be manicures, pedicures, a $25 Tim Hortons Card or Starbucks Card, a dinner for two at a nice restaurant, a consultation with a makeover counselor, tickets to a play or a sports game. Get creative with the ideas. The awardee could even be allowed to choose which award they would prefer.
Another way of approaching this subject could be to do “team bonuses” wherein the whole team has outperformed and has earned a team gift. For instance, in one practice, for every new patient in the door, a certain dollar amount went into a “kitty” towards a trip to Hawaii for Continuing Education. You just KNOW that the team got into asking clients for referrals, worked hard at keeping the practice sparkling clean and attractive, gave extra wonderful service to every existing patient in the practice, etc. etc.
It doesn’t have to be that HUGE of an award however … it could be something closer to home: a theatre play, a sports game, or a dinner for the whole team at a terrific restaurant, and so on.
This award thing is a two-way street as well.
Staff: Believe it or not, sometimes the owner of the practice pulls off something amazing for the practice or goes above and beyond, and she or he also deserves acknowledgement too. The staff could get together and pool a bit of money to buy a Tim or Starbucks card for him or her, or send the boss and spouse out to a nice dinner or award a pair of tickets for a game or buy him or her a cake with sparklers on it and hold an impromptu celebration at the end of the day.
Have some fun with all this. Showing up for work every day and getting the job done is very important, but exceeding expectations is achieved by many and making an interesting game of it can bring the whole practice up to the level of “Extraordinary,” and the clients will benefit too!