All eyecare practices work together differently with their staff, and some practices might see more benefits than others from commission programs tied to the sales in your practice. Plus, there are a variety of ways to implement these performance-based incentive programs in your practice. Sometimes the question arises whether to implement a commission program on a team vs. individual level.
While both of these methods have their pros and cons, and both have proven track records, we're here to talk more about the side of team based incentive programs and how they can help strengthen your eyecare practice and optical dispensing team.
Optical Dispensing Trend: Benefits of Team Based Commission Programs
In a lot of cases, eyecare product sales are happening throughout the duration of a patient's appointment, not just in the dispensary. If that's the case in your practice, your entire staff is involved in a patient's buying process, and they should all be rewarded with commission incentives to help keep teamwork strong and profits up. Individual based incentive programs can create a more competitive work environment that could end up having a negative impact on your sales.
In some cases, a flat commission is offered across all sales in the business, instead of when specific goals are met. Flat commission programs tend to provide less incentive as those commissions just become expected, rather than earned. So when creating team based commission programs, we suggest setting a goal before commissions are received. It's likely that it will take you a few test runs to pin down the right goal setting method.
In order to set the right goals for your team, take the time to look back on your sales over the last year. From there, it should be easier to determine a realistic goal for increasing sales over the next time period. For example, you could try and obtain a 15% increase in sales in May of 2022 compared to the sales you had in May of 2021. Hopefully your practice management and EHR software makes it easy for you to track and review reports that show your sales over time.
Another thing to consider is if you have part time staff in your practice. You'll want to determine how to distribute commissions based on hours worked so that you keep things fair among your employees who work more hours and put in more time towards hitting those goals. Celebrating milestones as goals are met as a team in your practice will only help to strengthen your staff's bond and teamwork.
Incentivizing and motivating staff can be a big pain point in a practice. Let our Expert Staff Management ebook help you guide your optometry staff:
Originally published in April 2016. Updated in May 2022.