My partner and I recently learned that we're paying associates more than other practitioners in our area do. How should we
get our compensation more in line with prevailing wages—with a salary freeze or a pay cut?
Roger Cummings, CVPM
Don't reduce compensation, says Roger Cummings, CVPM, a Veterinary Economics Editorial Advisory Board member and consultant with Brakke Consulting Inc. in Dallas. "The associates will quit, or you'll
end up firing them because lowering compensation is so demoralizing and disheartening," he says.
A better response: Tie compensation to doctor production. Start by monitoring the revenue generated by each doctor, Cummings
says. Then determine whether the doctor produces enough to justify his or her current compensation. If not, talk to the associate
about how you can work together in the next six months to a year to increase production and justify the associate's current
"If you decide you need to boost doctor production, you may want to take a more team-focused approach to increasing services
and fees by discussing these issues openly and making sure everyone's on the same page," Cummings says. "After all, practice
revenue determines potential compensation for your support staff members, too. So they also need to understand how their performance
affects their pay and the practice."
Do you have a Q? We've got the A!
Send your questions to Veterinary Economics by:
8033 Flint, Lenexa, KS 66214
(800) 255-6864, ext. 152.Include your name, daytime phone number, and e-mail address.