When I first opened my office (can it really be two-and-a-half years ago?), there were no benefits. At least, not until the 90-day probationary period was up. We started with health insurance; a modest policy. It was fine for someone single and relatively healthy. My kids were covered under my husband’s policy and my receptionist was single, so it didn’t cost the practice (i.e. me) too much. I also signed us up for a dental savings plan. Not insurance, but we got discounted rates at participating dentists’ offices.
As the practice grew both in staff and in income, I was able to offer more. We now have medical, dental, and vision coverage. The practice pays most of the premium for medical and dental, and half of the vision.
Also, when we first started, my rule was if the office is closed, there is no money coming in, so there is no money going out. So holidays, snow days, my personal days were non-paid days off. As we grew, I decided to pay the staff if I was out or there was an emergency closing, but holidays were still unpaid. This year, I am paying them for the holidays, too.
I am thinking about getting them uniforms — right now they are buying their own scrubs. Or maybe I’ll give them an allowance.
And as I posted a couple of weeks ago, I am working on a retirement plan for us.
I like the crowd I work with, and I want to keep them here. I know money isn’t everything, and they seem to enjoy working here and working together, but I also want to provide what I can for them.
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