What should you pay a TCO?

A client of mine recently asked: “Do you have any suggested basic pay and bonus systems for a TCO?”
I put this question to TCO trainer, Laura Horton, who gave this advice:
It depends on what everyone else in the practice is being paid really. If they have been in the practice for some time and they perform the role full time they should be one of the top paid team members, in London they would easily be on 25k + bonuses each year, it’s a role with huge responsibility as you know.
If they are the PM performing the role then I would look at the last time they had a pay rise, if it was a while ago and they are doing well as a TCO a performance related rise could be in order. If they are new to the practice or performing the role a couple of days a week and nursing or on the front desk for the rest of the time then if they are already paid fairly a performance bonus would be the way to go until they are working FT as a TCO.
I’m a big fan of performance bonuses for the entire team but I know this is tricky for people to work out. I feel however, that if the practice hits its target then there is nothing wrong with the TCO receiving a bonus of say £500. BUT if it only the TCO getting this bonus it must be confidential. If anyone else finds out it should be taken away as that would be very demotivating for the team.
If the practice is on a bonus already I would say that TCO should have the ability to earn an additional bonus and it could be tiered:
Target 100k
98k reached an additional £100
100K reached an additional £250
105k reached an additional £500
Or you can do it in gifts, reaching the target for three months a Macbook, a Thomas Cook holiday voucher etc but these things are still tax deductible and I personally feel that cash is easier!
Kind regards
Laura Horton
+44 (0) 7912 360779


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Chris Barrow

Chris Barrow has been active as a consultant, trainer and coach to the UK dental profession for over 20 years. As a writer, his blog enjoys a strong following and he is a regular contributor to the dental press. Naturally direct, assertive and determined, he has the ability to reach conclusions quickly, as well as the sharp reflexes and lightness of touch to innovate, change tack and push boundaries. In 2014 he appeared as a “castaway” in the first season of the popular reality TV show “The Island with Bear Grylls”. His main professional focus is as Coach Barrow, providing coaching and mentorship to independent dentistry.