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Incentives in Organisations: What does the research show us?

Vandana KatyalBusiness Coaching

Here is  something I’d like to share to everyone what I have learnt from my Masters of Business Administration degree. It’s about our People and Organisational culture.

I have often gone to seminars that talk about incentivising your staff for financial targets. I have done it their way, but often found the ‘oomph’ runs out in a few months. Often we assume incentives are important to motivate your staff, but actually published research shows that it decreases productivity and can make one narrow-visioned. The higher the incentive, the lower the productivity and the meaner people can get (Piff et al.)! This is same for developing and developed nations (Ariely et al.). No difference.

The most valued incentives by workers (research based) are:

1. Appreciation on a routine basis – establish a great culture.

– Culture eats any business strategy for breakfast!

2. Career progression opportunities- this can be in either furthering skills or job roles. Where do they want to be? How can you help them get there?

– Establish a skills list for each job role and review the next desired skill for career progression!

3. Work-life balance, via job share and flexibility – the most valued of all benefits and most challenging to provide in dentistry!

– Give your staff multi-varied roles so they can job share on a daily basis.

If you can instill a small step toward any of the 3 points above, you will have highly engaged team. One that doesn’t need monetary incentives to beat all targets. Of course rewards help but they shouldn’t drive Motivation.

If you are to introduce an incentive, you need to involve your team – what would they love to have as a bonus or reward? Ask your team in a group meeting. You will be surprised how many times it’s not money they will ask for. Most of them will ask for positive culture and work-life balance!


CCC Smiles Orthodontist Sydney  – in my orthodontic practice Clean Clear & Correct Smiles ( and business we have KPIs, but our KPIs are not just about revenue and profits, it’s also for customer satisfaction, sustainability, care for the planet and community networking. Each staff member chooses the KPIs that best suit their role and skill set. They track and report this in team meetings every month. If a staff member gets 75% of all their annual KPIs then they get a ‘mastering a skill’ bonus of upto certain $. They can choose to spend that on personal or professional development – eg. gym membership, piano lesson or conference. Do we meet targets? Yes! We do and with high employee engagement and job satisfaction. How do I know this? I conduct surveys of my team engagement.

I’m a firm believer of involving people in decisions that affect them. Some people think conference and travel is a job incentive. Taking your staff for a conference is great. But maybe it’s not what they want.

The iceberg analogy above shows how culture is way bigger than business strategy and so much more powerful that it can sink a whole ship if not developed in a business.


Happy Working!

Dr Vandana Kaytal,
Specialist Orthodontist, Enterpreuner, Author, Researcher and Speaker.

What People Are Saying

  • Dr Katyal’s courses are always very practical, interactive and based on up-to-date evidence. I have completed other orthodontic courses and I have found the structure and organisation of BOSS to be superior. Whilst Dr Katyal is very encouraging of GP dentists doing orthodontic treatment, she ensures that we understand our scope of practice, which allows patients to have the best outcomes. Looking forward to doing more BOSS courses in the future!

    Dr Brodie Hil, Dentist VIC
  • Boss is an amazing seminar well ran by Dr Katyal and her team. The group is small and Dr Katyal caters to the needs of the group. We bring cases along to discuss and we can interrupt to ask questions.
    It’s not like other seminars where you get lectured to and they take a few questions at the end . By which time you can’t remember the question you wanted to ask .
    The many lecturers are funny , informative and a pleasure to listen to . Ohh ohh I forgot … it’s held at the Hilton hotel and the food is unbelievable!!!

    Amy Lg, Dentist, Sydney
  • Many thanks to BOSS and Dr Vandana Katyal for providing me with a great learning platform for clear aligners. With a previous background in fixed orthodontics, I have always been interested in incorporating clear aligners to give my patients all options when it comes to providing orthodontic treatment in my practice.

    After attending BOSS lectures, Dr Katyal has helped grow my confidence in using clear aligners by providing one on one mentoring on clin-checks and also going through some of her own cases that she is treating with Invisalign which has been an eye opener for myself.

    I have now got multiple cases of Invisalign undergoing and I don’t shy away in presenting clear aligners as a treatment option for patients requiring orthodontic treatment in my practice.

    Amrinder Oberoi, Dentist, Sydney
  • I have been attending BOSS Courses since early 2016, and am so pleased to have found Vandana and her team! As Orthodontics is such a vast study in itself, BOSS breaks it down into practical and easy to understand concepts, which allows you to become more aware of the orthodontic status of all your patients. I have found so much confidence in being able to deliver orthodontic treatment to my patients after attending BOSS. If you’re someone who hasn’t done any orthodontics and are looking for starter courses, this course is fantastic. It is also a great opportunity for those who have had orthodontic experience in the past (like myself) to enhance, grow and learn more!

    Dr Radhika Singh, Sydney
  • I just attended the 2018 Boss Course 1 in Melbourne. It was a comprehensive introduction into orthodontic diagnosis and treatment planning. I have walked away feeling confident in my knowledge and abilities. I recommend this course to beginners and those with more experience. The group was small and the course felt tailored to our individual levels of experience. Dr Katyal was so kind and approachable and generously shared her knowledge. The course was heavily scientifically based and Dr Katyal frequently referred to the literature and gave recommended pre-readings to enhance our knowledge and make the most of the session.

    Dr Rachael McDonald, Dentist, Melbourne
  • Dr Katyal shares so much of her own protocol and is extremely generous not only with her time but with the well thought out information she provides along with the course such as inventory lists, marketing material and case presentation templates. She tailors her advice to your own experience and helps with appropriate case selection, points out possible pitfalls and helps you understand how to overcome them. The course is also up-to-date using the latest technologies in orthodontics and is heavily evidence-based.

    I would recommend it to anyone wanting to start doing some orthodontic treatment or looking for a more comprehensive course to assist in some ortho they are already doing.

    Dr Becky Dudman, Melbourne

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