The Christmas Bonus
There is no doubt in my mind that this causes stress for the practice owner. No-one wants to be left feeling like Scrooge but if you do not have the cash in the bank how can it be possible to give out a bonus?
Lets face it December is a much shorter month and no doubt most of you pay your team before Christmas rather than on the 31st or last Friday like usual? What effect does this have on your bank balance?
Here are a few of my thoughts:
- Bonus’s should only be given when it is win-win. The practice has made money so you are going to share it with the team. This can be an annual target, but I prefer a monthly one.
- Bonus’s shouldn’t be given only at Christmas, why not give the team the opportunity to get one every month?
- Bonuses are subject to NI and tax – never give cash. If you do not have a Christmas party then £150 of it can be tax free but check with your accountant.
So if you are a principal or manager who is under pressure to find money from nowhere, in the shortest month of the year (cash sales will drop++++ from the 22nd) because your team expect a bonus- because they always have one. Do not give it. It is simple. No cash in the bank means no bonus for anyone that means the practice owner who also has a tax bill to pay in January.
I would at this point reward the team with an extra days holiday if they haven’t had a day off sick in the last 6 months and 1.5 days if they haven’t had a day off in 2014. This will act as a nice surprise for those who have struggled in when ill. Write up T&Cs such as has to be taken with a dentists holiday etc so this again does not cost you!
Now is the time to create a plan for 2015 that is win-win. One that give’s the team the opportunity to get a bonus monthly or quarterly. If the team do not know the financial goal how are they going to help you get there?
Laura (no Scrooge, but a major fan of bonuses when it’s win-win)
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