Do financial incentives such as profit sharing help boost employee engagement? Sixty-three percent of the respondents to a recent Women In Optometry Pop-up Poll indicated that it does. The second most common reason was also related to staffing; 54 percent of respondents said that they implemented such a plan to help with employee recruitment and retention.

Nearly 46 percent of respondents said that a profit-sharing plan can contribute to financial growth of the business. Others wrote that they implemented such a plan to help with their own personal retirement planning or simply that it’s fun.

A slim majority of respondents (54 percent) do not have a profit-sharing option in their practice or business. Most of the respondents (82 percent) were in private, unaffiliated practices, and a similar percentage were directly involved in profit-sharing and other financial decisions.

One respondent noted that “the downside is that every eligible employee must receive the same percentage, so it can be quite costly for large practices where the owning OD is a relatively small portion of W2 payroll. It’s also somewhat ‘hidden’ from employees as the profit share contribution is done at year's end and doesn’t show on payroll.”

The advantage to creating some kind of system of financial rewards or creating more transparent communications around practice profitability was illustrated by one respondent who wrote, “Some OD private practice owners are earning money hand over fist but won’t ‘pay it back’ (or forward), even to their colleague employees who are generating the income.”