Show Employees Appreciation Without Pay Increase

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by Sean Adams, Jan 2, 2013.

  1. Sean Adams

    Sean Adams LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,597

    If you have owned your business for a few years or even longer, you may have a situation where you have an employee who has been with you for quite some time. That employee is loyal, honest, reliable, hard-working and accountable. Obviously these are the kinds of employees everyone wants on staff, but many times business owners cannot afford to keep guys like this around.

    Or can they?

    Yes, money is important and I'm guessing you haven't encountered too many employees who have turned down a pay raise.

    But what if paying this valuable, appreciated employee more money is just not an option right now?

    There are several different, effective ways you can "compensate" this employee, show him you appreciate his work and effort, without increasing his salary.

    1.) Tell him you appreciate him. Make it somewhat of a big deal. Pull him aside privately and tell him, and don't be afraid to tell him in front of others as well. Take him to lunch or give him a gift card - in this case, yes, the thought is what counts.

    2.) If you feel comfortable doing so, let this employee take a company truck home with him. Yes, it will cost you a little bit of money in gas, but look on the bright side, assuming your truck is labeled properly, it is a rolling billboard for your business. And he will appreciate being able to save his own gas money getting back and forth from work.

    3.) If he doesn't have a company cell phone, give him one. Allow him to use it for personal use as well so he doesn't have to incur the expense. Just make sure he understands that business time is business time and if he is called upon, he is expected to answer. Doesn't have to be the brand new version of the iPhone, just something that saves him money and fits into your cell phone plan.

    4.) Give him paid days off. In some instances, depending on location and numbers of weeks worked per year, this may already be the norm. If not, a paid day off here and there is a very nice perk that can be greatly appreciated.

    5.) Give him more responsibility and/or a new title. Some may think that giving someone more responsibility without increasing their pay is actually a step in the wrong direction, but you would be suprised how much more important and appreciated it can make an employee feel.

    6.) Ask for his input - set aside time on a semi-regular basis to let him tell you what he likes and doesn't like - what he wants to change and how he thinks things could be done better. This again will make him feel like his opinion matters and it will be valuable insight for you.

    For this blog post and more like it go HERE
  2. Landrus2

    Landrus2 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,814

    If you have 4/5 employees and you give days off to one be ready to give days off to all or they will not get along
    That goes for cell phones to.:hammerhead::hammerhead::hammerhead:
  3. NC Greenscaper

    NC Greenscaper LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 446

    I like most of these suggestions. We give all full time employees paid holidays off. I like the cell phone idea, but it would have to be given to the other employees as well. I don't like the ideal of employees driving the car home. I know others do this, but I not comfortable with this. I think all the others would ask for the same privelege. I have a friend that has a other unrelated business and his maintenance guys drive the company trucks home and I've seen his work trucks parked at a bar.
  4. Sean Adams

    Sean Adams LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,597

    I would have to disagree. Employees are usually well aware of the difference between someone who is a summer employee versus a full time employee with a couple years under their belt versus an employee who has more responsibility and has been with the company for 8-10 years. If a summer-help employee has issue with a guy with a decade of loyal service under his belt getting a paid day off and a cell phone, he's delusional.

    NIXRAY LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 511

    I'd agree with Sean, a newb saying the veteran gets to have one why can't I, would be a great time to explain to said newb that with dedaction and hard work comes benifits and let him use it has a goal
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  6. Str8Liner

    Str8Liner LawnSite Member
    Posts: 17

    Unfortunately these would seem like good ideas but in this economy, the good worker just wants the money. Any perks like a truck, phone or vacation days just make the other workers feel disrespected and that causes problems in the field. Borrowing company items leads to guys using your stuff for themselves. Believe me, I work at a big money company that uses these ideas and these are the problems they have.

    Employees don't respect the equipment or the product of the work because they feel they do the ***** work and someone else gets all the credit and the money.

    Guys take a van or a truck home and all you hear is how they used it for themselves or they got jobs you could have got because someone approached them and not the salesmen.

    Tools get taken home and used or stolen and things just get bad and they get worse for us supervisors because of the mistrust and the bad moral.

    Then rules get broken and the rule breakers don't get fired because the company can't just fire guys for every time they steal or drink or sleep, cuz then they'd have no guys to do the work.

    Yea you get a paid day off let's say on 4th of July and its a Monday. But then the upper management cuts Friday off the next week to make that money back. Or maybe you get 10 paid days off for the year, but the upper management will say that the company needs 25 furrow days for the year, so what do you gain with the 10 days?

    Essentially, the company gets so big that it can't afford itself and the upper crust cuts the legs from the men to keep afloat b/c they're not gonna downsize the company and lose their share just to be fair to anyone.

    In the end your company gets big and its every man for himself. The company can't afford overtime or raises, they can't afford to enforce rules and can't even offer incentives that don't seem like lies.

    Things aren't like they used to be... So just make your money and stay small. Invest in loaders and large equipment and sub yourself out. That seems like the only way to make honest money.

    BTW I gotta get out of my job!
  7. ToddH

    ToddH LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,184

    There is a difference between reward and favorism. One works and the other creates issues. Thanks Sean
  8. KeystoneLawn&Landscaping

    KeystoneLawn&Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 774

    No matter the way each individual decides, finding ways to boost the morale of all employees goes a long way. I think a weekly "production" meeting is a good way. Maybe Friday late afternoons before quitting time. All can give any input, respectfully, about the company. . Could be complaints, ideas, etc. The owner or foreman can go over issues before they become big problems. Then once a month you order dinner into the meeting. Yes it will cost money, but the higher the morale and feeling of being part of the company goes a long way. I'm not to the point of having employees yet, but this scenario was done when I worked for a printing company that had 150 employees and it worked well. Only difference at the printing company, too large to order in lunch or dinner, so we had food days for lunch where everyone brought something for an extended lunch. Even the most negative workers will lighten up a bit. Most important of all, IMO, the owner and/or foreman need to maintain a positive attitude 99% of the time. If you are negative, the employees will be!
  9. Turfdude

    Turfdude LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,900

    I think str8liner summed up a lot of things best. That being said, I do like Sean's idea about pulling them aside and giving a gift card or something of the like. Taking company truck home is also a liability. What if there is an accident, even if your vehicle is parked (hit and run, shopping center, etc) you are out the money and you get aggravated with the employee. There is also a difference for the long-term employee who had been around 5+ years. They hopefully have more respect for thei job/career and your equipment, company, and image. That should be rewarded occasionally if a pay raise is not afforded.
  10. grassman177

    grassman177 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,795

    there are some good points, but many of those we have tried, and it caused more issues than it helped. we have found more and more, they truly only care about the money, esp the longer they work for you. the short timers appreciate it seems more the little things, the longer term guys dont at all, and even forget what you have done for them in the past. they just want more money, cuz it advances their lives

    these suggestions definitely dont always work

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