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Many bonus systems are based on practice growth rate: if the practice grows by X%, then a staff member gets Y dollars. A common problem is that the individual staff member has difficulty understanding what they need to do to assist in reaching the goal. This is particularly true for good employees who do a good job, take pride in what they do, show up on time and are truly dedicated. To increase your chance for practice growth, the staff needs to understand what is necessary for the clinic to reach the goals. This requires a step-by-step program outlining what each individual needs to do.
Some clinics bonus based on individual staff statistics. My experience shows bonusing the individual you will get “super stars,” but no team. Staff members begin to distrust each other and the overall morale decreases, which is the opposite of what we are trying to do. Therefore, I recommend the following team-oriented bonus program be implemented on a quarterly basis.Take last year’s monthly numbers and break down into quarters. Set the goal for an increase of __% (10%) over last year. Assign a point basis that if the target number is met, it is worth X points, if the quarterly exceeds the target number by 5% then the staff would get X + Y points.

Breaking the overall annual goal into smaller stages helps prevent the staff from being discouraged if there is a slow month. Otherwise two slow months in a row basically removes the opportunity for the annual bonus. In the proposed bonus system, a poor quarter can be overcome by a good quarter and an excellent quarter will motivate the staff to continue what they are doing correctly.

In the following 3 doctor practice example:

If the clinic gets 20 points for the year, everyone get gets a bonus. Every time the clinic makes the target goal, an award of 5 points is made. If the clinic misses the goal, however is within 5% then 3 points awarded. If production is greater then 5% below the target, then no points are earned. If the clinic gross for the quarter is above by 5% then an additional point is given. If the clinic exceeds the quarter is above by 10% then another additional point is added.


Quarter Current Gross Target Gross Actual Points
1st Quarter $ 318,629 $ 350,492 $ 340,000 3
2nd Quarter 337,066 370,773 386,000 5
3rd Quarter 330,250 363,275 388,000 6
4th Quarter 289,982 318,980 319,000 5
Total 1,275,927 1,403,520
1,433,000 21

NOTE: If the owner does not want to share the gross numbers with the staff, using client visits also works.

Dr. Randy Carsch is owner of “Consulting for the Veterinarian by a Veterinarian”. He was recently appointed to the Task Force on Veterinary Economics for Texas. He teaches a “Modular System” where clients customize templates to fit their practice style and philosophy. His average practice increases 22%!! He can be reached at 972-949-4111 or
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