Is there A Better Way To Pay Employees?
On this episode , I’m chatting with my new BFF Ellen Rohr! Ellen went from being the “Plumber’s Wife” to a top expert on making big money doing dirty jobs. As president of Benjamin Franklin Plumbing, she took the company from zero to 47 locations and $40 million in franchisee sales in two years! Ellen is a whiz at making business uncomplicated, and in this interview she shares ideas to demystify the way you pay your employees.
Ellen identifies two myths that she had to break before she began to see success in the family business:
- You must charge the “going rate”
- If you do what you love, the money will follow
Rather than being tied to the market price, Ellen suggests that small business owners ask, “What do we need to charge?” and gain a mastery of their financials. Business requires a different skill set than those you might use as a technician, but it is an absolute must to figure out the money situation and understand your balance sheet.
Once you’ve nailed down the numbers, what comes next? Ellen and I agree that it’s essential to stop and clarify your vision. Too many small business owners get stuck in the “how” and confuse raw output with productivity. But it’s important to stop and examine the “why,” then develop a plan of action that aligns with that vision.
With a business plan in place, now it’s time to take a closer look at your org chart and make sure you are rewarding the “right stuff” (production, sales, efficiency, etc.) In other words, assess the mess. Are there employees at the same level who aren’t earning the same paycheck? If so, be cautious as you make corrections. People have an emotional connection to money, and it’s never a good idea to make sudden, sweeping changes in the way you pay. The ultimate goal here is transparency and fairness. Your employees should know how to get a raise and reach the “top of the ladder.”
There are pros and cons to each method of compensation. But at the end of the day, whether you pay hourly or commission or a hybrid, it has to line up with your finances. Your pay must submit to the ultimate financial plan so that your business is profitable.