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Incentives in Organisations: What does the research show us?

Incentives in Organisations: What does the research show us?

Vandana KatyalBusiness Coaching, Dr Katyal’s Publications

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

  • I completed the BOSS UK Diploma in 2021 and when it became available, signed up for the AU course as well. I completed the AU course at the end of last year and can honestly say BOSS (now Digital Orthodontic College) has completely changed my approach to clear aligner treatments and increased my confidence with treatment planning immensely. The fact that the course is 100% online was a huge drawcard for me initially since I have two young children, work clinically part-time and run my own business. It allowed me the flexibility to study when I had the chance and didn’t result in any loss of clinical time. Dr V is extremely passionate about orthodontics and more importantly sharing her wisdom and that comes through in her approach to teaching. The course is extremely comprehensive (NB: the AU course has quite a few complex assessments) and covers everything starting from the basics of tooth movement, which sets a good foundation and is therefore suitable even for beginners. The monthly/bimonthly webinars allow students to share cases and is a safe space, non-judgmental and therefore an incredible learning platform. I had been doing clear aligner treatments prior to starting this course, but BOSS helped me see patients with new eyes and has overhauled my treatment planning approach. I would not hesitate to recommend this course to anyone interested in learning, or to extend their knowledge about, clear aligner treatments.

    Thank you so much Dr V!

    Dr Lora Banicevic, Dentist NSW
  • The Australian accredited 10905NAT Graduate Diploma of Digital Orthodontic Treatment offers comprehensive training in the field, gives the candidate the opportunity to do things in a self-paced manner, while getting a personalised 1-on-1 learning experience with Dr Vandana Katyal. It was an excellent choice for me and gave me the flexibility to get the well-designed training done in my own time frame. I would strongly recommend the course to any practitioners who is looking to upskill themselves with a no-compromise high quality course, while also having to juggle between busy practices and family schedules.

    Dr Charles Sun, Dentist WA
  • I started this course unsure of how much I would benefit. The in-person lectures were fantastic (although the course is now 100% online) where I made good friends and learned a lot. The online resources are extensive and second to none, accessible at your convenience. The webinars were great – usually with the right mix of teaching, cases demonstrated and the attendees’ cases being discussed. I was also invited to deliver a webinar on intra-oral scanners, 3D printers and in house aligner manufacturing (from a dentist’s point of view) – which I enjoyed.
    Most of all the course gave significantly more confidence what can be done with aligners, how plan the setup efficiently with the end in mind and how to make the processes to get there smoother. As a result, a MUCH larger chunk of my work is now aligner based. My conversion rate for aligner treatments has definitely increased along with my confidence. The course has easily paid for itself. Full disclosure: I was invited to deliver a webinar on intra-oral scanners, 3D printers and in house aligner manufacture to my BOSS batch mates, which I also thoroughly enjoyed doing. I declined any remuneration for this, although it was offered.
    Dr Shammi Moopen, Dentist VIC
  • Since I have joined the postgraduate diploma in orthodontics I have noticed all the applied practical learning/knowledge on my patients and I am only half way through the year. Dr Vandana is a genuine educator. She goes way beyond to simplify every lecture and I really like her evidence based information and that is available for us 24/7. Her webinars helped a lot for busy dentists and loved the feedback we get in the one on one sessions with our cases. It make us think every step of the way. But the best thing I like is to see she is giving back to the community and her association with Smile Train in helping children with cleft palate is just beyond words. Thank you so much for being nice and approachable.

    Dr Claudia Braybon, Dentist NSW
  • Received my Diploma in Digital Orthodontics from BOSS and couldn’t be more stoked! Huge shout out to Dr Vandana Katyal and the BOSS team for a wonderful year. I would recommend BOSS to every dentist no matter their level of experience with Orthodontics and clear aligners. Starting off with barely any orthodontic experience, I have commenced about 9 cases in the matter of months and BOSS gave me the confidence to predictably deliver results for my patients through clear aligners which are the future of modern orthodontics.
    Dr Sarang Sathe, Dentist NSW
  • I chose Boss’s clear aligner diploma because I wanted to know the latest evidence based practice to enhance my treatment planning and case execution. I now have a much better understanding of how to diagnose, what movements can be done and what will get me into trouble. The flexible nature of the course delivery also fit perfectly into full time work and my otherwise packed schedule. The monthly case presentation webinars are also great to not only get feedback from Dr Katyal, but also to validate your own thoughts self-assess and see how you are tracking with your learning.

    Dr Gregory Nguyễn, Dentist NSW

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