“Raising” Expectations of your Team

The cost of living from December 2010 to December 2011 was 3% as defined by Table 1 of the Consumers Price Index for all Urban Consumers (CPI-U): US city average, by expenditure category and commodity and service group.  I suggest that when you look at raising your team member’s pay, you do so with more of a focus towards “merit” raises.  Rewarding your employees that have performed well or exceeded your expectations makes good business sense, but make sure you communicate this to your employees as well.  The best way to do this is in person, but I would suggest that you also send them a note – here is an example:

Dear Valerie:

This notice serves to advise you of an increase in your wage that is equal to 5% of your current hourly rate.  The effective date of this increase is March 1, 2012 and the increase in pay will appear in the payroll check you receive on March 9, 2012.

We are pleased to award this increase based upon your performance over the last review period and believe it will serve as an incentive for you to continue to strive to meet our business goals and objectives in the future.

As the leader of your business, be sure to continually communicate the mission and objectives of your practice to your employees so they know what is expected of them.  Dealing with poor performance can be time consuming, but don’t let it go unchecked or it will send a clear message to the rest of your team that you don’t care, which can be an infectious attitude.  Poor performance usually only gets worse over a period of time and rarely corrects itself without some form of intervention.  So, as soon as it is noted, take the necessary time to address the matter, note it in your personnel files, and then reinforce this during the review with your employee.  At the time you give raises, you should address the change in compensation with those for whom you are giving a lower or no raise as well.  In additional to speaking with them in person, you should also include a notice – here is an example:

Dear Gertrude:

This notice serves to advise you of an increase in your wage that is equal to 2% of your current hourly rate.  The effective date of this increase is March 1, 2012 and the increase in pay will appear in the payroll check you receive on March 9, 2012.

This increase is reflective of your performance over the last review period.  We will review this and the goals set for you again in six months.

Among a medical or dental practice’s most valuable assets are its employees.  Most desire to meet or exceed your expectations.  So, as their employer, be sure to communicate, train, develop and treat your employees in a manner that wins confidence and raises expectations and your practice will run smoothly.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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