We held a panel discussion at Vision Expo with Evan Kastenbaum, co-founder of GPN Technologies, Dr. Brian Rogoff, founder of EyeExec Consulting, and Dr. Scot Morris, on best methods of incentivizing and motivating optometry staff members.
We began by discussing how practices can use business and optical metrics to grow. You should rally your team around clear and consistent goals, and to be transparent and specific about your expectations when communicating with your team. Dr. Morris stresses the importance of sharing metrics and information with your staff in order to track areas for improvement.
Some doctors feel uneasy about sharing information with their staff, but Dr. Rogoff reminds us that if metrics are shared with the staff, team members can monitor their performance and help others who are falling behind. Dr. Morris points out that transparency also means accountability, and to make your staff accountable for their numbers and inform them of your revenue targets.
When it comes to metrics, programs like Edge Pro can help you track macro-level numbers as well as a more detailed account of what’s happening in your practice. Edge Pro can also show you opportunity costs from missed targets, which helps individuals see what areas they can improve in, and helps you figure out where to incentivize growth.
Incentives for your staff can take many different forms, Dr. Rogoff says, whether it’s money, days off, or other amenities, so it’s helpful to ask your staff what would incentivize them. Dr. Morris suggests group incentives to promote team cohesion, and giving constructive and positive feedback. By tracking and reflecting on their own metrics, and incentivizing different areas of the business to change patterns of behavior over time, Dr. Morris sees it as the doctor’s responsibility to the grow the practice.
Dr. Rogoff says it’s important to look at both macro-level numbers and more specific numbers to track your costs relative to your profit margins. When asked how to calculate a healthy conversion rate, Dr. Morris says to track sales of an annual supply of contact lenses, and for optical, how many refractions versus frames sold. He also says that if doctors want to track incentives, they should start doing their own coding. Dr. Rogoff suggests net promoter scores, which track referrals, as a way to incentivize your billing and front desk staff.
Dr. Morris says key numbers are revenue per hour, encounters per hour, cost per hour, and staff revenue per hour. It’s important to see your clinical business and optical business as separate, since that way you can track the productivity of each side. Dr. Rogoff says you can do this by tracking revenues per exam, and sales of frames and contact lenses. Tracking the profitability of each sector shows you where you need to improve.
Dr. Geller wraps up by reminding doctors that gathering and visualizing data can help inform your decision making process, by showing you where you need to incentivize staff, choose new vendors, or change the flow of your office.