Most incentive-based compensation plans are from 15% to 25% of total compensation. Again, this is not a fixed rule. Some groups choose incentives that are 5% to 10% of total compensation; others have incentives up to 40% of total compensation. The important takeaway here is to understand what is necessary to motivate your group.
Although most incentives are monetary, I encourage you to think beyond money as the only motivator in your plan. Some examples include time off from work; flat-screen televisions; or all-expenses-paid vacations.
Whether you choose money or nonmonetary items, it is important to be clear on when the payout will occur. Many groups pay the incentive annually. It might be the easy way to do it, but it also doesn’t mean a once-a-year payout is right for your group. The goal of the incentive is to change provider behavior. In order to accomplish this goal, participants must associate their behavior with the incentive-based reward. Paying the incentive-based reward at the right frequency (quarterly, every six months) might increase the chance this will occur. I don’t advise weekly incentives; not only is that process cumbersome, but the rewards also are likely to be small and potentially ineffective. The frequency of payout should be part of the planning discussions.
My last piece of advice is to take steps to help your providers succeed. In addition to telling your providers how to reach their incentives, show them how to succeed. This does not mean setting the bar low. Providers should have to work hard to reach their goals, and there is no reason why you shouldn’t give them the tools to help them succeed. TH