IDOC actively shares industry-focused articles, blog posts, podcasts, videos and other thought leadership with our members and other optometric practitioners. Below, you will find links to our growing library of educational materials and multi-media assets written and created by IDOC's team of seasoned industry experts.
Amy Alvarez | 2/17/2022

The last few months have been filled with rising wages, steep job competition, and continued uncertainty. Practice owners are being approached by staff about pay increases and are receiving higher wage requirements from job candidates. Many businesses are advertising their starting pay, putting wage comparison front and center.


As the economy always does, the current environment will ebb and flow. However, there are some universal truths in compensation strategies:


  1. Pay and responsibility need to be in balance. If an employee has too much responsibility and compensation is not in line, the employee will struggle with engagement and productivity. On the flip side, if wages are high without appropriate levels of responsibility, you get complacency and change resistance.
  2. Pay doesn’t drive performance results. More money for more performance or engagement at work is unrealistic. We have a perception that if we pay more or if we make more, things will be better. Compensation will drive short-term improvements, but often does not address underlying issues.


How to Create a Compensation Package


Creating a compensation package that works for employees as well as your practice requires taking inventory of financial wellbeing and ongoing profitability before making any changes. Making informed and thoughtful decisions about your employee compensation plan will prevent uncontrolled salary creep and keep total payroll costs in check. In this environment, it feels impossible not to give sweeping pay increases in a panic to “get ahead,” but it is important to resist this urge.


There are things you can do to quickly address compensation competition before requests start coming in or your staff decides to seek other opportunities:


  1. Calculate current payroll costs. Cost of Goods and Staff Compensation should be about 50% of the total gross revenue of the practice. This gives you a guide to follow.
  2. Assess when staff last received pay increases. This ensures you are not over-correcting.
  3. Review salary data for similar roles in your location. This provides comparison.


Communicating the purpose of the increases is as important as giving them. Don’t miss the opportunity to connect with your employees about their performance and value. As discussed, increases only create temporary engagement and commitment. Revisiting ways to achieve lasting engagement in tandem with pay increases will help your practice reap the greatest benefits from increasing pay.


5 Ways to Achieve Lasting Employee Engagement


  1. Set Goals
  • Set specific goals for each of your team members or the practice as a whole.
  • Keep track of the goals and encourage your employees to do so as well.
  1. Discuss Performance
  • Conduct frequent check-ins with your employees.
  • Address concerns when they arise.
  1. Recognize Success
  • Celebrate wins, even small ones.
  • Maximize employee performance by identifying strengths and assigning corresponding responsibilities.
  1. Hold Staff Meetings
  • Bring everyone together at least monthly to receive updates and discuss opportunities and wins.
  • Use the time to connect with your team as a whole.
  1. Communicate Expectations
  • If your employee is not doing what you want them to do, they likely don’t know better.
  • Be clear with your team about your expectations.


Evaluating your compensation strategy is a common practice and should be done at least twice a year to ensure that wages remain competitive and that you retain quality employees.


Struggle with Designing a Compensation Package?

If you’re encountering challenges in creating a compensation strategy for your practice, managing staff or other human resources concerns, contact IDOC. We’re here to help. IDOC HR Services offers a variety of optometry HR services including everything from helping you create the best compensation package for your practice to staying HR compliant with COVID. Reach out today to get started and find the guidance you have been looking for.


Amy Alvarez
HR Consulting and Services Manager
Amy Alvarez, SHRM-CP is IDOC’s Human Resources Consultant. Amy has experience in HR in healthcare and retail, management in big box and specialty retail stores and physician recruitment. Through these roles and training, Amy is well-versed in recruitment and hiring strategies for “hard to fill” roles, dealing with low productivity, helping encourage employee engagement, on-boarding, training, day-to-day management in a retail setting, employee relations, and so much more.
Trending Blogs

12/2/2022 | Author: IDOC

Hayley Stewart, IDOC Financial Services Manager

The end of the year is quickly approaching, which means you are probably thinking about your practice’s bookkeeping and all the many year-end deadlines that are going to be here before you know it. One of those deadlines you... Read more

11/4/2022 | Author: Nathan Hayes

IDOC is excited to announce the first benchmark report for our new Books & Benchmark; Financial Statement Benchmarks are live.  With over 30 practices connected to the database, we’re now able to run benchmarks.  Let us share a couple of aspects of how we do benchmarks that... Read more

9/9/2022 | Author: Maddie Langston


If you are looking to increase the number of new patients at your practice, then your marketing strategy should include working on how to get noticed in local online search results. One powerful way to increase your visibility in local search is to optimize and maintain the... Read more

8/22/2022 | Author: Kelsey Garcia

So you created a Facebook and Instagram account for your practice, but now what? Coming up with post ideas can be overwhelming and can quickly leave your creative “well” feeling dry. By categorizing your posts into three main buckets, you can easily streamline the brainstorming... Read more

8/5/2022 | Author: Dr. Steve Vargo

As I type this, the news is dominated by concerns over the economy, including unease around inflation and a looming recession. This has practice owners understandably concerned and asking, “What should I expect, and how can I prepare?”

I’m not an economist, and I... Read more

7/22/2022 | Author: Nathan Hayes

Do you worry that your staff aren’t consistently doing the little things in your practice? Do you lose sleep because you just ‘don’t know’ what’s happening outside your lane?  Do you struggle to find the time to oversee things?

Let me suggest that... Read more

7/15/2022 | Author: Amy Alvarez

I think I would be hard pressed to find an independent practice owner who doesn’t understand the power that marketing has on their ability to attract patients to their practice. Keeping patients, new and existing, visiting the practice is an important part of a successful... Read more

7/8/2022 | Author: Lana Greene

I have never spoken to a practice with a zero patient-owned-frame (POF) percentage. I encourage practices to strive for less than 25% POF percentage at a minimum, and less than 15% for the best-in-class. You may see a slight increase year-over-year, which will happen when you sell quality... Read more

5/19/2022 | Author: Dr. Steve Vargo

As research for launching a new service called IDOC Specialty Services, I interviewed several industry experts of various specialties. At the end of each call, I asked everyone the same question: “What prevents more ODs from succeeding with a specialty?”

Their answers were insightful.... Read more