Rational staff bonuses, part 1 | Ophthalmology Blogs |

John B. Pinto, Practice Consultant and OSN Section Editor, focuses his blog on ophthalmic strategic planning, economics and benchmarking, marketing, cost containment, revenue enhancement, physician leadership and personnel/physician career development issues.

Here’s the winner for most popular consultant staff management question of the year: “What’s the best rule of thumb for dispensing staff bonuses and incentives?”

Before providing you with an answer to that excellent question, here’s a brief, horrid aside, applicable in this case. The phrase “rule of thumb” was derived from an old English law that stipulated that a husband could not beat his spouse with any object wider than his thumb.

Mercifully, times have changed, except for surgeons and practice administrators who are now getting a different kind of beating over rising payroll costs. Even with a still anemic general economy, wage demands continue to rise in most market, particularly for technicians. When we enter the next inflationary phase of the economy, payroll demands could skyrocket in what is arguably a falling revenue industry for even the most proficient surgeons.

Clearly, the reason we bonus staff is to elicit and reward desired performance. Many practices skip right over this core motivation and provide bonuses where they are unlikely to have the desired impact. In the next installment, I’ll launch a series of observations, recommendations and pearls on the role bonuses should play in your overall compensation methodology.

is president of J. Pinto & Associates Inc., an ophthalmic practice management consulting firm established in 1979. John is the country’s most-published author on ophthalmology management topics. He is the author of

John Pinto’s Little Green Book of Ophthalmology, Turnaround: 21 Weeks to Ophthalmic Practice Survival and Permanent Improvement, Cashflow: The Practical Art of Earning More From Your Ophthalmology Practice, The Efficient Ophthalmologist, The Women of Ophthalmology, Legal Issues in Ophthalmology

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