I am in a group called CEO Roundtable.
I love the group. It’s like an advisory board for our company. Mary Key facilitates the group. She’s good. We always have a printed agenda. We set goals and keep each other accountable to them. We take turns bringing issues to the table. Last Tuesday it was my turn to bring up an issue.
My issue has to do with how we pay people.
We want to be fair but we want to be profitable. Our employees are very important to us. We want them to motivated and secure in their employment. We want them to stay with our company (most of them). Furthermore, we would like to give them raises according to merit, not time served. My issue is, after we raise them to a certain pay level, the position cannot afford to pay anymore. Even the best and most loyal employee are only worth so much to the company in a certain position.
This is the way our roundtable group does it. Someone that has the issue does their best to explain the it. Everyone takes turns to ask as many questions as needed to clarify the problem. Then they take turns suggesting solutions to the problem. I was surprised to hear the such thoughtful and helpful suggestions.
Let me give some background to my issue. We hire blue collar people. Mostly we hire men because of the lifting and manual strength it takes to do the job well.
The job is hard work
The job is hard work but otherwise, they would be day-laborer, lawn care workers, roofers, etc. In other words, if they worked someplace else, most likely, they would have jobs that are just as labor intensive if not more.
I feel like we treat our employees pretty good. We have an attractive benefit package. We have games and contest to try to make work fun. We buy them pizza when they have to work extra hard. I’m calling ‘extra hard’ is when all hands on board to unload several trucks in a day. We give cash bonuses when an employee stands out like, receiving a compliment from a customer or do something that’s not asked of them, like cleaning the break room. We provide uniforms and give each a stipend towards their steel toed shoes, give them time off for little league ball games and ballet recitals, etc.
Now for the suggestions from the group to solve my issue:
One suggested ‘Safety Awards’. This suggestion was implemented. The drivers get a bonus for safe driving. It’s working like a charm.
Probably one of the best suggestions was making a pay structure by Josh. Josh just recently sold his business. The suggestion was having a real pay structure. A pay structure that includes telling these employees right up front, ‘this is what we start for this position, ‘this is what you can expect with a 90 review, and this is what the position caps out with’. Then explain how the raises work per production.
Of course, tell the applicants there are other positions available for higher pay when promoted to a different position.
Another good suggestion is having a mid-year review. That way you can tell the employee how he is doing and what he needs to improve, setting expectations up for his/her year end.
Recognition without compensation is another good one. Have a cake, or other treat to recognize the good deed or ‘beyond the call of duty’ or a high productive bonus.
For our drivers, one suggested a safety and truck maintenance bonus.
All these suggestions I will to take under consideration. I wanted to share them to see if you might have the same issue and if any of these solutions might work for you.