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incentive programs

Discussion in 'General Chit-Chat' started by GregT, Aug 20, 2012.

  1. GregT

    GregT Very Active Member

    Does anyone have any type of incentive programs for the employees? I have been thinking about placing one in our shop, but keep trying to figure out how I can be fair. The screwups are starting to add up. I end up footing the bill for these and the employees just continue.

    Any thoughts?
     
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  2. skyhigh

    skyhigh Major Contributor

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    A good incentive would be....
    You can keep your job, if you quit screwing up.

    sorry Greg.....not quite what you were looking for. The part where you said, "and the employees just continue" (assuming you meant they keep screwing up, making the same mistakes over and over) just kinda irritated me. It doesn't sound like they care. No amount of incentive will help a worthless employee.
     
  3. haulin

    haulin New Member

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    I AGREE. If they can't do the job correctly, and don't want to learn and care about the work they fo then fire them. Plenty of people need and want to work.
     
  4. GregT

    GregT Very Active Member

    Sky, how have you been? It's more or less just carelessness on there part. It seems like it always happens on the "big" jobs. They are good workers, but don't loose anything when they make major screwups. I must say that it doesn't happen every time, just enough.
     
  5. haulin

    haulin New Member

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    Verbal warning, written warning, then either sent home or a day off without pay?
     
  6. ProWraps

    ProWraps Very Active Member

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    i understand completely. legally we have to foot the bill. they make the mistake, we pay for it.

    sometimes a sheep needs to be pulled from the flock and sacrificed. the death of one for the good of many.
     
  7. skyhigh

    skyhigh Major Contributor

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    Perhaps more training is needed? Maybe the pressure of the "high dollar" job is affecting them?

    Do you have regular meetings with the group? You could give that a try.

    I've never had an actual "Incentive Program". What I have done in the past, is give my guys a bonus if the job goes smooth and flawless. (note; thats only gonna happen if the guys work together, and pay attention to what everyone else is doing). On something like a large install, I've been know to give them 2-3x their regular pay. Gift cards are always appreciated too.

    I'll be the first to admit, I was never what you call a "good boss". I would give my guys quite a bit of freedom when it comes to setting their own pace. This isn't a problem when you have an employee with a good work ethic. The employee that doesn't possess this trait on their own, won't last long. I can "train" someone, but I've never had the skill to "mold" them.
     
  8. rjssigns

    rjssigns Major Contributor

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    Profit sharing. Any and all mistakes are accounted for and directly impact the payout. Another thing would be self directed work groups if you have enough staff. Each group is responsible for their own projects, hiring, firing, discipline, scheduling vacations etc...they tend to weed out the slackers extremely fast. Especially if their bonus is tied to zero mistakes and hitting deadlines.
    Or like my relative does. Calls the offender into the office and finds out what went wrong and asks if they need more help/training. If they make another mistake he calls them into the office again and asks the same questions. But also tells them there will be no third time. He says I am paying you to produce not to guess on how things should get done.
     
  9. haulin

    haulin New Member

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    Gift cards are great, since they are nothing more than gifts. You can deduct them and not have yourself and the employee have payroll taxes taken. I used them in the past and employees do appreciate it. Another thing is if all goes well buying lunch:corndog:, or taking the whole crew out to dinner.

    I have a simple theory, you need to do your job well. That is why I PAY you. If you put in extra effort, you will get rewarded.
     
  10. Gino

    Gino Major Contributor

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    Luckily, we don't have a lot of them, but as you mentioned... it seems to always happen when you can't afford the lost time to do it over or wait for new material to come in.

    I've had several talks with employees over the years and explained, when they goof up, it sends me into a bad mood, cause I am ultimately responsible for everything that goes on. Therefore, I made a wrong decision and must find the root of it.

    I've explained how they don't want me to micro-manage, but if they can't take responsibility for the money end of things, then I've got to make some changes. Seems we all make mistakes, so the first thing is... we have a line item already figured in for the lost supplies and lost time. However, it's impossible to include getting behind in your schedule.

    When someone screws up, it's noted and asked if anything should be different ?? If it's not a big deal, we just make light of it and move forward, as we are covered for it so there is no loss to the business. Now, if it's a huge blunder, then we get through it and afterwards we have a nice discussion with all involved and brainstorm how to not let it happen again.

    We have one right now, where it was my fault for something not going right, but we're working around it and I'm paying extra for my own mistake. We're putting up several signs today in four different municipalities and I forgot to pull the permit for the one. I did all the paperwork, but they didn't take a check when I submitted everything and I forgot to bring a check today from the office. So, I have to either pay cash for it or go back to the office and get a check. But, it was my mistake and I'm paying to make it right. These employees don't pay for their mistakes and kinda think the money grows on trees.

    I'd offer a small bonus for the big jobs that go right without a hitch and let them know there is an incentive to do it right. One person blows it and they all suffer. Don't give it to one and not others... or they'll just wanna prove a point individually and not harmoniously.
     
  11. Farmboy

    Farmboy Active Member

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    We must have read the same "How to be a Boss" book.
     
  12. SD&F

    SD&F Very Active Member

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    I agree that the jobs seem to screw up in waves and it can be frustrating. I do not reward for work that I expect and pay my employees for. I respect them, treat them well and pay accordingly. I usually have a meeting and tell them how important it is to pay attention to the details. Our company theme this year was "PRECISION". We discuss how when the company does well, they will get their regular raises(annually).
    This works for about a year, then we meet again. I am open to any new ideas.
     
  13. skyhigh

    skyhigh Major Contributor

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    Gift cards are great!!! More of a bonus than what you think....
    If you give a gift card to the local grocery store (who happens to be a sign customer), he appreciates your business. Plus the wife of the employee appreciates you too, when she didn't have a grocery bill. Wives like Red Lobster gift certificates also......it forces hubby (my employee) to take her out to dinner.

    She is happy.....he gets lucky....which makes him happy....he works harder....makes me happy....LOL

    Family loyalty? Sounds good to me.
    I have a method to my madness.
     
  14. mikefine

    mikefine Member

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    Focus on the positive, and not the negative. Reward those who accomplish and achieve. I just googled how Google rewards and retains employees. Interesting Times article how Google offers lots of free food, extra perks like massages and free time to work on personal projects. Maybe extra lunch hours, offer preferred parking spots, employee of the month award, etc. There are many ways to compensate good work, other than offering straight financial incentives.
     
  15. BobCap

    BobCap Member

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    Mistakes cost

    I recently had to let go an employee after working for me for eight years. Very tough thing to do.

    But he kept making major screwups in the middle of a job.

    He claimed he was doing the job the same way he always had...

    Einsteins definition of insanity...doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

    He couldn't seem to understand.

    Now he gets a paycheck somewhere else...I hope.

    I felt bad about it. But my bottom line loved it!

    Bob Cap
    AAI
    Gilbert, MN
     
  16. Pat Whatley

    Pat Whatley Major Contributor

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    My brother works for a small company that casts fiberglass architectural parts. They tried the bonus route by setting aside $5000 a quarter for bonuses and posting it on a big board by the time clock so everyone could keep up with it. They were hoping it would make everyone more careful so they wouldn't be responsible for costing everyone money. It had the opposite effect. When something did go wrong the employees ripped each other apart over it...then they got really, really good at helping each other hide screw ups.

    They dropped the program before the quarter was up.

    The best incentive program I ever worked under was more about production time than eliminating screw ups. We were given a set amount of work we were expected to do during the week and a goal amount. We could work at our usual pace and finish the set amount pretty easily. We could quit the usual screwing around and work hard and make the goal amount. The bonus for us was that when we hit our goal amount we were done for the week. We used to routinely hit the goal by the end of the day Thursday so we could take three day weekends. That program died after about six months when some fresh out of college manager decided to crank the numbers up to impossible levels so everybody just quit trying. I don't think we ever hit the set amount number again, much less the goal amount.
     
  17. animenick65

    animenick65 Very Active Member

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    I think it is extremely important to reward those who go above and beyond the call of duty. This can be in the form of lunch, gift cards, extra paid time off, things of that nature. Many times, especially in a large company like this, we can't just throw money at good employees. Small rewards like this go a long way to reinforcing good employees, but the lack of these rewards for those who don't perform is a motivator.

    We've also toyed with the idea of putting a list of the worst offenders up every month, sort of like a public scolding. It seems barbaric, but some of our employees just don't get it.

    Also, there is a need to keep records of all mistakes. We have a detailed system in which all errors are logged. When we see a pattern with a particular employee, we'll sit them down and discuss what happened and how to avoid again. If it keeps happening, we have a record upon which we can issue a written warning. If that doesn't work, we'll need to let them go and because of our efforts at tracking errors, we'll have the proof we need to make this happen. Again, it's unfortunate to have to do this, but it's also very necessary to protect your business.
     
  18. CES020

    CES020 Very Active Member

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    One important thing to remember, money is not a motivator. A lot of people think it is, especially the people getting the paychecks, but in the end, money is not a motivator. It's been documented and proven many places.

    What money is, is a short term motivator. Long term, it does nothing.

    In previous jobs, I've had people tell me if I just give them more money, they'd do better work and be better employees. It worked. For about a week. After they get the first paycheck and adjust their lifestyle to the new amount, it's right back into the same routine.

    I have a family member that did extensive research on it decades ago for the military, and the conclusion was that money doesn't make people do a better job. They couldn't find any evidence that money motivated people to produce more or raise quality standards.
     
  19. GregT

    GregT Very Active Member

    Thanks for all the responses. We do offer gift cards when employees go above and beyond. We also offer cash bonuses and lunches. I want to get a handle on the issues before they become a major problem. I think some of it is mentality of the employee.
     
  20. Gino

    Gino Major Contributor

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    Remember that Eric guy you knew ?? When he was here, he actually deducted hours off of his time-sheet when he screwed up a few times, cause he knew he did wrong. I put it back on, cause I didn't want to get in any trouble with any department of whatever, but he felt bad and knew it cost. I had to give him credit for that..... when he did it for at least understanding and tried taking responsibility.
     
  21. GregT

    GregT Very Active Member

    When Eric was here, he kept adding hours to his actual time. One of the many reasons he was invited to leave....
     
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