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Episode 577: Implement a Tiered Raise System

raise structure raises Sep 15, 2022

It’s a hot topic episode: Raises! Kiera shares her beliefs around raises, and why implementing a tiered raise system (or hiring the Dental A-Team to establish one) is so beneficial. Do team members in your practice know how to get a raise? Do you find yourself throwing money at problems instead of figuring it out? Do your employees feel stuck?

The perks of a tiered raise system include:

  • Confidence in knowing how much you’re paying and why

  • Control of each employee to attain a raise

  • Inspire self-sufficiency among team members

  • Take the scariness out of reviews and check-ins

Episode resources:

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0:00:05.6 Kiera Dent: Hey everyone. Welcome to the Dental A Team Podcast. I'm your host, Kiera Dent. And I have this crazy idea that maybe I could combine a doctor and a team member's perspective, because let's face it, dentistry can be a challenging profession with those two perspectives. I've been a dental assistant, treatment coordinator, scheduler, filler, office manager, regional manager, practice owner, and I have a team of traveling consultants where we have traveled to over 165 different offices coaching teams. Yep, we don't just understand you, we are you. Our mission is to positively impact the world of dental, and I believe that this podcast is the greatest way I can help elevate teams, grow VIP experiences, reduce stress and create A-teams. Welcome to the Dental A Team Podcast. Hello, Dental A Team listeners, this is Kiera, and you guys, I hope today is just a magical day for you. I'm car casting, I'm not too far away. I'm having a good time over here. It's a beautiful sunshiny day, so wherever you are today, I hope you just remember, you are dang lucky. You're gonna have a miraculously amazing day because one, you're alive, that's a great day, and number two, you get to work in dentistry, which in my opinion is the best profession we could ever ask to be a part of.

0:01:20.5 KD: Guys, if you have loved this podcast, please do us a solid favor and go share the word, pop it in a Facebook group, tag us, leave us those five star reviews, all of those things help us. We are aiming for that million downloads and we are on track, but we need each of you to help out. Guys, this is how we're able to massively positively impact the world of dentistry in truly the greatest way possible. So if this podcast has blessed you, you've taken anything from it that's helped your practice, please do us a solid favor, I read those reviews personally, and I would just appreciate it so much. So I'm talking to you directly. Go do it, feel good. Have an even better day today because you went and help someone else experience goodness in their life. Alright, let's dive into a dicey topic today, and that is on raises. You heard me right, raises, it's a hot, hot, hot topic right now, people are asking, "What do I do? Do I need to give people raises, do I not give raises? What do I even need to do?" And I will say one of my favorite things is to build a tier raise section. I'm not gonna go into all the nitty-gritty, it's something I do for our clients. I've given them a tiered system for every position, so that way they know how to go from one tier to the next, to the next.

0:02:31.9 KD: Because what happens with raises is usually if you are like me, it's like, "Oh shoot! Their one year is coming up, now they're coming to ask me for it, I don't know what to do. Do they need a raise? I don't wanna lose them. Let me just give them a raise." Or, "Oh shoot! Someone just got poached, I'm gonna raise everybody across the board." Well, that's great, but that's very reactive instead of proactive, and then you're always sitting here on the terror of when are these people going to leave? So if we have built out a tiered system for every single position, and we do a cost analysis across like for our state of what these positions should be paid every single year, you then have confidence that you know you're paying them at the highest amount. You have a tier, so if they want to raise from one group to the next group, guess what? They have it within their control to do so. It allows the employees to become self-sufficient and to be able to take their raises into their own hands, and guess what? Reviews, check-ins, all of that, no longer are scary. So that's what I love to do, and I think it works great. Does it take some work? You better believe it. But would I rather spend the time building this out today or hiring Dental A team and just having it done for me? For sure, absolutely. Yes, than I would rather losing employees and being scared.

0:03:50.1 KD: I also will say, make sure a lot of people, I think, throw money at problems, so it raises, make sure we're not raising them because we don't wanna lose people or we don't wanna have this or that. Sure, you might lose a few people, but I'd rather find out why, because there are offices out there, you guys, that are paying way less than what other offices are, have a killer culture, and even if someone were to be poached, I know those employees are not going anywhere. So before we even get into the nitty-gritty on raises, I want you to really check yourselves and find out what is your culture, do you have good rapport with every one of your team members? That's coming, like doctors, do you have good rapport? I know, even if you have 50, 60 employees, do you have a good rapport? Or do you have great people on your team that have good rapport? What does that even look like? Because when you have strong leadership, when you have good rapport with your employees, when you know them personally and professionally, when you know what motivates and drives them, guess what? Money isn't really what matters.

0:04:55.2 KD: And people, there's always going to be a better deal everywhere, I mean, go on Amazon, you guys know, you can look up a product and there's like 20 other ones of the exact same kind that you could buy for cheaper, it's not always about the price, it's not always about the raises. It's about expectations. A lot of times people are looking for raises as a way for you to tell them, hey, you did a great job, they also might be looking for a way for them to grow. So, Are you giving them opportunities to grow within your company? Are you giving them constant and consistent feedback on how good they're doing? Do you know what motivates your employees, to make sure that they're really being motivated in the way that works best for them? Not everyone is motivated by money, believe it or not, not everyone wants to have a high five and told that they're doing a great job. How many of you would just love to DIY and get the secrets of people who have been there, done that on your own time, because I know for me, I love to learn from the best of the best. The people who have been there, done that and can give me the shortcuts, that's why we have created our Dental A team Virtual Academy where it's on-demand courses for you at your fingertips. Where you literally can learn the secrets from all of my experience, all of Tiffany's experience, Britney, Dana, our entire team's experience at your fingertips.

0:06:15.9 KD: So stop taking the hard route, guys, there's a shortcut sitting there waiting for you, and it's also CE. Head on over to and click on our Virtual Academy, be sure to use coupon code Podcast and get started on that DIY and become the practice of your dreams. Everybody is motivated differently. So when we look at these raises, I'm like number one, do you have clear expectations, do people know how to get the raises and Why they would get a raise, it's not just for longevity, no way, 'cause guess what? Longevity to me is super valuable, I would love it, but it also doesn't mean that that's the only thing I'm looking for, I'm looking for killer people that have gone above and beyond, who have chosen to grow themselves, who are always working to improve themselves, and here's a cheer system of the skillset that I'm also equally expecting you to take on, those are big deals for us in our company to get raises. Do you have the same type of expectations there? That's why your team gets frustrated is because they don't have a clear expectation of how they can grow and how they can evolve, which is why you get that "I want a raise or I'm gonna leave", because they feel pigeonholed, they feel stuck, and then you might be motivating them with things that they don't even want, for some people, it's super offensive when you throw money at them and they're like, cool, but that's not actually what I want.

0:07:37.3 KD: I wanna know I'm doing a good job, or I just actually want time with you one-on-one, some people it's quality time, other people, there's just a thousand different ways that people really love to be rewarded, they love to be acknowledged and having a good culture, guys, right now is trumping raises, you can sit here all day long and throw money. I just heard of an employee leaving a practice, she was given a $7 raise in the last nine months, seven, 'cause the doctor didn't want to lose her. She is willing to take a $7 pay cut to go to a place that has a better culture because the stress, the feeling like she's not valued, the constant chaos, just not worth it. I will also say that millennials, Gen X-ers, our new generations coming through, they don't value the same things that other people did, money is not their number one motivator, it's great, but time off, for some it's 401ks, for others it's having a more flexible schedule, which I know is tricky in dentistry, but there are always solutions, so I want you to really think about, one, do I have clear expectations of how people can grow? Two, do I have a relationship with these people? Three, am I working to ensure our culture is a killer culture where people would stay here? And four, am I creating so much chaos and mayhem that people would generally would not wanna work here?

0:09:08.3 KD: I think those are really, really good questions when it comes to raises, to ask yourself and to answer honestly, because if you can answer those questions honestly, you're gonna be leaps and bounds ahead of other offices who aren't thinking in these terms, who aren't asking these questions, who aren't checking in to say, alright, what do I need to do to make this a better place that people would want to stay at? Ask your team. We do an anonymous survey, twice a year. I've talked about this so many times. I ask people, and you could do a two or three dollar an hour raise, would they leave for that raise? I don't love it, but guess what? Those are some things that I would strongly wanna know and ensure I'm doing that. So with that guys, I would say, check your culture, check your expectations, make sure you build that rapport with people and think about that before you're giving raises, all great ways for you guys to increase and grow, and guys, as always, thanks so much for listening. I'll catch you next time on the dental A team podcast. And that wraps it up for another episode of The Dental A team podcast. Thank you so much for listening and we'll talk to you next time.




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