After working closely with dentists for over fifteen years, I’ve come to realize one thing… The “why” matters a whole lot more than the “how”. Dentists are incredibly practical, diligent, intelligent and hardworking people. But the truth is, you are just so busy all the time that you don’t always take things seriously until it starts to suffer from neglect.

Truthfully, this isn’t unique to dentistry! This is common in most human beings… But it is an unsustainable habit that will beyond a shadow of a doubt destroy your practice. So, rather than just explaining how to implement a results-boosting staff incentives system in your office, I’m going to explain why it would be the best decision you’ve made in years.


1)   Incentives create a results-oriented practice culture.

The problem with many practices today is the flawed idea that “showing up” is good enough. That by “showing up” you are doing your job. By paying your team members high base salaries, you are essentially saying, “Great job! You showed up!” As a dentist, you only make money by performing clinical duties and successfully treating patients. You don’t make money by simply showing up. So why should it be any different for your team?

Incentives encourage your staff to actively seek RESULS. By paying a lower base salary, BUT giving them the chance to earn more money through incentives, you are creating a practice culture that is driven by results. People who hate incentives tend to be people who think they should be paid highly for “showing up”… And they will naturally weed themselves out. You can thank me later.

“Thank you so much for sending me the draft of “Guide to Creating an Effective Incentive Plan.” It is simple, concise, and BRILLIANT! I began in January 2009, became a Platinum Coaching member in June 2009, and have had exponential growth over this time. I’ve almost reached my goal of doubling my practice to 2.4 million gross sales, and have tripled my monthly new patients.” –Dr. Greg Phillips


2)   They create a sense of ownership.

In order to implement an incentives system, you have to put the emphasis on tracking results and progress, and give team members more control over their areas. Fortunately, this is the FASTEST way to help them own their roles. Do you know what happens when each team member starts to fully own their areas and that area’s results? EVERYTHING increases. Front desk staff who OWN the phones schedule more new patients. Hygienists who OWN oral healthcare become better advocates for their patients, and their production increases. Marketing directors who OWN marketing results test, track and tweak more effectively to boost ROI. I guarantee that the overall quality of your practice will rise.

“My staff has benefited enormously from the Scheduling Institute’s training. The skills they’ve acquired have allowed them to handle every possible scenario that comes up when scheduling patients. The staff has also profited from the end of month incentives system that we implemented from your program. Now, they practically fight to answer the phone when it rings!” –Dr. Benjamin Mitchell


3)   Incentives create a win-win, where doctor success and staff success are directly correlated.

The incentive system operates on a very simple principle: when the practice does well, the staff does well. And when the practice does well, the dentist does well. This law creates a synergy between your efforts and the efforts of your staff—it gives everyone a single, unified direction, increases office morale, and strengthens the team. Wouldn’t you enjoy having a team that loved coming to work every morning? Well, try implementing staff incentives and you will… because they know hard work and improved results provides rewards!

“When we started the program in September, our average new patients per month was 16, with our average monthly production at about $90,000. By December we had reached 23 new patients (with the office closed for over a week!) By March, we had reached 38 new patients, and our production was up to $138,000!” –Michelle Sage, team member


Hopefully you’re starting to understand why the staff incentives system has become such a hot topic in the dental industry. Stay tuned in tomorrow to find out more about how using incentives can leverage your human capital and help you to reach a new level of success!


Until next time,


Jay Geier