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Relay Team: Inspire Teamwork Through Group Incentives

Wednesday, July 25, 2018 9:00 AM

Aesthetic Medicine, Case Studies, Expert Advice

Written by: Glenn Morley

Case Study

BSM Consulting has been working with an aesthetic practice in New York that has experienced quite a bit of staff turnover — none of which was regrettable. The new team, which has taken months to assemble, is focused on personal accountability and aims to embody the mission statement “create a memorable patient experience.” As a result, the following is frequently said by staff: “Can I help you with … ?” Beyond basic staff training and established guiding principles, what is motivating this team to provide an excellent experience? Two things: Personal accountability and group rewards.

Glenn Morley
Senior consultant

Financially rewarding your entire staff, as opposed to individual members, can serve as a catalyst for improving collaborative performance. Like a successful track and field relay team, a medical aesthetic team must work in synchrony to create a “wow” patient experience. While providers and patient coordinators are often incentivized with compensation for a job well done, the truth is everyone in a medical aesthetic practice plays a vital role in successful client relations.

It’s a Relay, Not a Marathon

Unlike the self-reliance needed by marathon runners to cross the finish line, relay teams must work together to achieve success. For effective teamwork, high-performance teams need to: (1) understand one another’s roles and responsibilities, (2) determine when a team member needs help, and (3) realize that personal performance directly impacts the group. Building a team with these components is a time-tested recipe for success.

A successful medical aesthetic practice team strives to work together, executing a seamless baton pass every time. Leading the group, the phone and lead management teams actively listen to patients, aligning their needs with the right physician or provider. Taking the handoff, patient counselors deepen the patient relationship by managing all components of the consultation and scheduling process. Bringing the team to the finish line, the clinical staff educates, allays fears, and reinforces the safety and expertise of the surgical team, all while helping patients understand the importance of their post-operative care.

Team Incentive

To motivate your team to work collaboratively, data shows that incentivizing the entire group is effective. In fact, a joint study by the International Society for Performance Improvement and the Incentive Research Foundation found that incentivized teams increased their performance by 45 percent, whereas incentivized individuals increased their performance an average of 27 percent.

For your team to receive an incentive, it must first earn it. Below are guidelines to establish attainable goals that your team can strive for.

Identify what you are trying to achieve. Do you aim to increase total practice revenue? How about boosting non-surgical services for a new provider? Build a plan that is focused on a defined goal, then articulate the goal.
Set an affordable starting point. If you have never had a team bonus pool before, a great strategy is to start small and make the goal easily achievable. You can always increase the pool in subsequent quarters.
Identify the right metrics for measurement. A metric is a quantifiable and measurable indicator of performance. Nothing excites a team more than the pride and glory of goal achievement. The following are commonly used to measure practice success:
1. Year-over-year revenue or profit growth
2. Patient retention rate growth
3. Patient reviews and/or patient satisfaction results
Measure and manage. Once team performance metrics are identified and an incentive plan is in place, staff often become more interested in understanding ways to continually hit their personal best. Test reporting to ensure your system is able to generate the metric you are measuring. If it can’t, determine who and how this metric will be measured to guarantee accuracy and easy reconciliation with net receipts.
Keep it simple. A simple plan is always better, as it’s easy to explain, understand, monitor, and manage. With a clear plan and realistic goals, your team can collaborate and unleash its collective excellence, ultimately improving the patient experience and the practice bottom line.

Crossing the Finish Line Together

It’s clear that rewarding your staff as a collective team motivates them to finish in first place together. Providing group-based financial incentives can serve as a catalyst, encouraging your team to offer an excellent patient experience while improving practice sales and helping achieve the bottom line in an effective and inspiring way.

YOUR TURN: What's your experience with using group incentives to motivate practice staff? Leave your comment in the section below. Thank you.

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