Rewarding staff when you can’t afford to pay increases

Rewarding staff when you can’t afford to pay increases

Without a doubt, you’d like to be able to give all your employees raises every year to show appreciation for their contributions to your practice. But sometimes the budget simply won’t allow for pay increases. There are ways you can reward staff when raises are not possible. Here are a few ideas to consider.

Speak with your insurance broker about the possibility of sweetening your group benefit plan. Even though health insurance costs are always on the rise, you may be able to add dental, disability, or life insurance for a reasonable cost.

Increase the number of paid vacation days staff members receive each year. Giving a few extra days off with pay won’t directly impact your bottom line as long as you have staff cross-trained so that you don’t have to bring in extra help when someone is off. Another nice gesture is giving each staff member their birthday and/or anniversary hire date off (with pay of course).

Approach a local gym or the city recreation center about a group membership discount for your staff and their families. This perk costs nothing and sends a message to your employees that you’re interested in their health and well-being.

Keep practical gift cards on hand (to local supermarkets and home improvement stores, for example) and hand them out during staff meetings to reward employees when the team achieves practice objectives such as bringing A/R down to a certain level, keeping the schedule full to meet volume goals, or reducing patient wait times. Depending on the size of your staff and what you can afford, $25 or $50 gift cards all around are a great way to say “you’re appreciated.”

Offer flexible schedules to the degree possible so that employees can work hours that are conducive to work/life balance and managing their personal obligations. If an employee has young children who get out of school at 2:30, she might want to work fewer than 40 hours a week (i.e., 7:30 – 2:00) to avoid paying for after school childcare. Another employee who likes to get to the gym early every morning might prefer to work from 9:30 – 6:00 each day. You need certain staff on site during patient care hours, obviously, but for those working in behind-the-scenes positions (billing, for example), it may not matter when they work, as long as the work gets done.

Need more ideas about what your staff might like in the way of non-monetary perks? Ask them. Every practice is different. Tailor your benefits to meet the needs and desires of your employees to let them know that you are interested in keeping them engaged, satisfied and on your team as long-term players.