How it really should work
It’s not about NEEDING a raise, it’s about rightfully EARNING a raise. And who ever said that it must be an increase in salary to show appreciation for a job well done? It’s about the efforts put forth by the employee that convert to reaching production goals, and possibly exceeding all projections and benchmarks.
Asking for a raise is a difficult discussion to have, whether you are delivering the message or receiving it. How do you as the employee approach this delicate subject? How do you even begin the conversation? What’s the right time to ask? How does one prepare for such a monumental event?
These are all questions most employees would ask themselves as they prepare to take the big step. So when is it “time”? Is there a certain amount of practice longevity when this is appropriate? Should it be addressed in a letter? Do I take my doctor to lunch?
Truthfully, I believe that no one should ever have to ask for a raise. The well organized, business-savvy employer should be watching, evaluating, and tracking both the growth and success of the practice as well as clearly observing contributions made by their team members.
Has Suzie saved me money due to her creative purchasing of materials and supplies? Did Joanie the hygienist promote and schedule Mrs. Smith’s overdue quad scale? And what about Maryanne who saved the day last week by personally picking up Mrs. White for her 3 hour implant appointment when she almost cancelled due to car trouble?
Watch and listen to the many areas that an astute and dedicated team will manage while you, the doctor, are busy prepping and impressing. There is a lot to be said for what a talented, reliable, long-term employee can bring to the success of the business. And if the business is thriving, growing, and maintaining or exceeding projected goals, then chances are that as the employer you have those outstanding team members to thank.
Increases don’t necessarily have to occur at any specific time. For example, there is no rule that states “Raises are to be given at the first of the year”. A raise should align with the measurable growth and success of the business, which doesn’t necessarily need to be in the form of a cash increase.
An additional perk such as added vacation time or a medical insurance upgrade is another way of thanking employees for a job well done. I know of a very successful practice where the doctor will place a hundred dollar bill in an envelope when the team member has accomplished something outstanding. Just when they least expect it! What a wonderful and meaningful (and motivating) surprise.
As long as the business is moving along at a successful pace, collecting all it produces, balanced by a team that works well together and efficiently keeps everything together, then the business is in a healthy place. Of course everyone expects a business to improve and do better with each year, but improvement can occur in many different ways.
It’s showing appreciation and gratitude to those employees that hung in there day after day, following protocols and doing their best to maintain a strong successful business. These team members are invaluable to your practice, are deserving of a thank you every now and then.
It doesn’t have to be Christmas or the New Year that “marks” the time to express one’s appreciation for all that your valuable team contributes to the bottom line and success of a practice. In fact, if these gestures are reserved exclusively for such “special occasions”, the person may feel that they are given out of a sense of obligation. Surprise them with a reward at the time they do something great to justify it instead. This level of appreciation can go a very long way to motivate and retain your best team members.