“SHOW ME THE MONEY!!” Making Yourself More Valuable in the Marketplace.

A recent article posting on the Ultimate Patient Experience Facebook Page about the stagnation of hygienist’s salaries in the USA brought comments from hygienists here in Australia of similar instances.

The article story raised the old chestnut about salary increases, and how they are given and how they are expected.

Which to me raised a good question, a very good question.

And that is, why are salary increases expected?

You see, I’m not a big fan of salary increases based on anniversaries of starting date. Why should someone be paid more money just because they’ve chalked up another year at the office?

What’s the logic in that? Why should someone’s salary be increased just because they just stuck around?

Sure loyalty does play a part. And it is difficult and expensive replacing team members that choose to move on. Retraining, or training new employees is costly not only in dollar terms and time too, but also in terms of heart muscle and also stomach lining as well.

I am certainly a believer in reward for results. I do believe that if business turnover is up, and also profits are up, then staff should be rewarded. No question. But I’d prefer rewards to be in the form of bonuses rather than salary. Bonuses as a percentage of increased profit.

Bonuses that are set out in advance, in clear language, that are achievable, make great incentives for team members to help lift the performance, and therefore the results, of the business ..and that’s a win-win-win for everyone!

The staff and team win, the business and owners win, and the customers win.

On the flip side, paying in bonuses also allows for recalculations, or reductions, should the achievements of the previous year not be met or maintained.

If increases in staff costs are granted as salary, then there’s no recompense for under performance in subsequent years. And that’s *NOT* good for business.

As mentioned above, the best ways to reward and pay bonuses is to reward staff based on measurable metrics, like profit and turnover.

Other means of rewards can be based on the following measurable features of a dental office:

  1. Increase in New Patients booked, or seen
  2. Decrease in appointments cancelled or rescheduled
  3. Decrease in number of patients leaving without an ongoing appointment.
  4. Increase in number of patients reactivated [those who had fallen through the cracks of the practice]
  5. Increase in case acceptance by patients
  6. Increase in certain types of cases being accepted
  7. Increase in number of patients seen by hygienist
  8. Decrease in hygiene dead time.
  9. Decrease in dollars spent on consumables as a percentage of fees.
  10. Decrease in lab fees as a percentage of Crown and Bridge collections.

Measurable parameters are what keep businesses moving forward.

Watching the numbers, and trends on those numbers, can provide vital information as to the health of the dental business.

Staff and team members focused on working towards regular improvements in those measurable numbers are certainly a strong asset for your dental business.

On the flip side, one of my biggest gripes with dental staff and team members is when they confuse activity with achievement.

Sure action is good. Better than inaction. But action without results, measurable results, is just motion. Nothing else.

So when a team member seeks a pay rise, ask them for numbers. Results. What have they done to contribute to the health of the business, to the profits of the business, to the business’s bottom line?

Don’t reward inaction. Don’t reward motion.

Pay on results. Numbers tell the story. Look at the numbers.

Remember that line? From the movie, Jerry Maguire?


Reward measurable results. Nothing else!


The Ultimate Patient Experience is a simple easy to implement system I developed that allowed me to build an extraordinary dental office in an ordinary Sydney suburb.  If you’d like to know more, ask me about my free special report.

Email me: david@theUPE.com

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