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Bonuses and benefits: The keys to employee retention

July 12, 2023
It's very difficult to hire a good employee these days, so retaining good employees has become more important than ever. Offering bonuses and benefits is a great place to start.

In today’s job market, it seems nearly impossible to hire a good employee. If you can find someone willing to work the hours you need and for the amount you’re willing to pay, you then need to train them and cross your fingers they have been worth the investment. Then, you must be willing to do more to keep them from looking elsewhere. Knowing that employees may wander if the grass is greener elsewhere, your job is to convince them that your grass is the greenest. Bonuses and benefits are a great place to start.

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I do not believe in giving employees financial incentives based on the length of employment. While I do not expect every employee to work at my office forever, the goal is never just to make it to the next year and receive a raise. We give our employees easily attainable goals that are necessary to achieve if they want to work toward a pay increase (e.g., a new assistant may need to attain X-ray certification). Pay your employees well and incentivize increases!

All of our employees are paid a holiday bonus before the holidays. We make sure to give each employee a holiday bonus the first pay period of December. This allows employees to use the bonus for the holidays if they choose. We also take our employees outside of the office for a holiday party. We do not force them to come and do not frown upon any employee who decides not to show up. However, we treat them like royalty for the night. We all dress up, go to a nice restaurant, and there is no limit to what they can order. We always enjoy the evening, and everyone eats, drinks, and spends the evening laughing and bonding. This is valuable for the business because the experience keeps everyone closer during the time that follows.


We also treat our employees to lunch once a week. We rotate the staff member who chooses the restaurant, and we order in. We use this time to hold a weekly office meeting if our busy patient schedule will allow it. This time is useful for discussing any problems within the office. Each team member is involved in sharing ideas for efficiency and improvement. No one is left feeling excluded or unheard. We are a team, and it shows.

Our employees have the same schedule each week. There are no questions like, “What hours am I on for next week?” They can plan out all their outside activities because they know when they are expected to be in the office. Importantly, we still offer them flexibility. If there are vacations, appointments, or if anything else comes up, we have no problem with them adjusting the schedule with their coworkers. We also give our employees paid time off each year, which they can use, cash out, or carry over.

Other benefits we provide our employees are insurance and retirement plan matching. They are offered specific amounts for both. A healthy employee is a happy employee. We take pride in assisting in their present and future well-being. Additionally, we provide support for continuing education if it is field-specific. Our employees do not need to pay for their own dental education because their improvement benefits our practice.

Anything that will benefit our business long-term is worth paying for today. Our employees have proven time and time again that this is the proper course of action. They have all been with us for years and realize that we know their best interest is in the business’s best interest. Treat your employees well, and they will return the favor.