Welcome To Signs101.com: Largest Forum for Signmaking Professionals

Signs101.com: Largest Forum for Signmaking Professionals is the LARGEST online community & discussion forum for professional sign-makers and graphic designers.

 


  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Question Motivation, Incentives, Production Increase

Discussion in 'Business Management' started by cwb143, Aug 24, 2018.

  1. cwb143

    cwb143 Member

    304
    4
    18
    Oct 18, 2010
    USA
    I refuse to be a loud, mean, cursing, egotistical, greedy, lying, psychopath, cheapster, type boss, But rather a fair and firm one with the success of others in mind. So with that, I'm looking for ways to improve production. I want more industriousness out of my employees. More enthusiasm and team building. What incentives work and which do not work? How can I get employees to be friendly to each other and work together? I always say the faster we can complete the jobs the more money we make. Yet they lose sight of goals and their focus diminishes and production slows down. I'm the Boss and when I get caught up I go out into the shop and help out to show that I'm not afraid to work in another department to encourage teamwork. Maybe it will just take more time. Any thoughts or proven methods that you all know of would be much appreciated.
     
    Tags:
  2. Gene@mpls

    Gene@mpls Very Active Member

    1,989
    82
    48
    Jun 17, 2003
    Blaine, Mn
    I refuse to be a loud, mean, cursing, egotistical, greedy, lying, psychopath, cheapster, type boss... that is what is in now days I am afraid. But is not necessary.
    Lead from the front is good. Make the work place fun, be pleasant no matter what is going on in your life, be deserving of respect from your customers and employees. Value them, pay them, make people want to work for you... not against you. I have always had a bonus system- over a stated gross they get a percentage. Help them understand that a thousand dollars a day only pays the bills and beyond that when you do well, so do they. Be kind.
     
  3. BIG EASY DOES IT

    BIG EASY DOES IT Very Active Member

    2,248
    119
    63
    Mar 14, 2011
    CA
    Profit share.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  4. neato

    neato Very Active Member

    2,139
    283
    83
    May 16, 2003
    Henderson, IL
    The more money "we" make? Or the more money the boss makes?

    Employees could care less about your success until it affects them.
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. player

    player Major Contributor

    4,878
    171
    63
    Apr 24, 2006
    Toronto
    Profit sharing can backfire. When they don't perform and they don't meet the targets, they will be even less interested when the bonus isn't there.
     
    • Agree Agree x 3
  6. BIG EASY DOES IT

    BIG EASY DOES IT Very Active Member

    2,248
    119
    63
    Mar 14, 2011
    CA
    Then it's time for replacement.
     
  7. player

    player Major Contributor

    4,878
    171
    63
    Apr 24, 2006
    Toronto
    I found the working stiffs should not be involved in the financial dealings of the business. If they understood business, they probably would not be shop workers. They don't grasp business, and think there is just money there because it is a business. To fire competent trained staff because they don't grasp the money part is not a solution. It is hard to find decent people that are not drunks or druggies or some other social defect that can actually get something done.
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Agree Agree x 1
  8. BIG EASY DOES IT

    BIG EASY DOES IT Very Active Member

    2,248
    119
    63
    Mar 14, 2011
    CA
    An employee that continually can't reach what is expected of them is not the right employee. Regardless if they know how money works. You said don't perform and don't meet targets. The inability to do this is what gets them fired. Just so happens another product of their inability to do the job well is they miss out on the profit. If your profit sharing is set up in a way where actually getting a piece of it is unattainable then you are probably going to have issues. But if you have a solid plan where all your really looking for is for them to do their job in a timely manner, and with minimal mess ups, then when that person continues to mess up and not pay attention it's because they don't care and are a bad fit for the business. No amount of pay, bonuses, days off is ever going to change that. It's because they truly do not care about anything they are doing. They would show up and sit just about anywhere to make their $11 an hour and then they want to go home.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  9. equippaint

    equippaint Very Active Member

    1,855
    531
    113
    Oct 10, 2014
    Florida
    You cant change people but you can sometimes attract and retain better people with better pay, work environment etc. You will never be able to incentivize an otherwise good employee into what you just asked for. Good employees will give all they can at their own sustainable level. Its not fair to the employee or yourself to think you can dramatically change this.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  10. Emd2kick

    Emd2kick Member

    150
    36
    28
    Jan 18, 2018
    New Jersey
    I wouldn’t bother trying to motivate your employees...turns into a bad situation where then you need to continually do so.

    Profit sharing is also foolish, they get weekly paycheck they get. Guess what, that is sharing your profits.

    The goal should be creating a culture and environment where employees want to push and succeed. Yes there can be monetary incentives, like some sort of bonus. But I find profit sharing only makes employees count the bosses money.

    It’s much easier to fire an unmotivated employee that is toxic to the whole crew, then getting them to buy in. Also, don’t be there friend....I understand that you don’t want to scream and yell....but remember the employees are there to gain your approval and be rewarded....your not there to be “liked”.
     
  11. Jean Shimp

    Jean Shimp Member

    230
    24
    18
    Oct 26, 2012
    jacksonville, fl
    I have often thought profit sharing would be a good idea. I'd be interested to hear how other shops have implemented this. We do mostly custom signs which can be hard to predict the outcomes for. And what happens when a job goes wrong and profits are lost - do you share the losses too? Can't imagine that would be too good for morale.:(
     
  12. Emd2kick

    Emd2kick Member

    150
    36
    28
    Jan 18, 2018
    New Jersey
    Jean Shimp, this is one of the reasons it doesn’t work. Also, do you really feel like your employees should know the companies profit on jobs? How about costs that aren’t always captured?

    I had an employee once who was looking for a raise ask me to see company finances (I guess wanted to see profitability to justify his raise request). I had to explain to him that he was an EMPLOYEE, and the he was not entitled to see that information.
     
  13. equippaint

    equippaint Very Active Member

    1,855
    531
    113
    Oct 10, 2014
    Florida
    The question isnt so much of how to make a bonus or profit share or whatever work, its will it actually do anything since thats the goal. It wont and it's not effective. As stated before, they can be counter productive too.
    No external motivator will override peoples internal motivators. For routine repetitve things you can pay piece work like an auto dealer but it wont do anything to increase production. The hustlers will make more but they will hustle no matter what.
    A big downside to performance based compensation is animosity and tension among coworkers. Try to explain to your ace why he got the same $500 as his helper. Or explain to the hard working helper how he only got $200 and the ace got $500. Theres no winning and employees will compare this stuff no matter what you do.
     
  14. Texas_Signmaker

    Texas_Signmaker Very Active Signmaker

    3,994
    1,460
    113
    Oct 21, 2016
    Frisco, TX
    In my experience you can't really change the enthusiasm, the dedication, their energy or the drive of an employee, they are who they are.

    BUT you can change your process to make that person more productive. You can look at how your shop is setup, how the work flows, and who is working with who. You can't change people, but you can alter their environment.

    Make sure the employee is doing a job that their personality fits best for. There are personality tests that give you categories that people fall into. Those categories will tell you what their strengths and weaknesses are. Do you have a quiet, shy office person answering the phone and a talkative, outgoing guy in the shop working at a station alone? That kind of stuff.
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2018
    • Like Like x 2
    • Agree Agree x 2
  15. James Burke

    James Burke Being a grandpa is more fun than working

    3,263
    361
    83
    Jan 2, 2010
    Mitten State
    This starts with you and the criteria you generate. There are a gazillion ways to go about it, but you need to analyze what you're currently doing wrong and make steps toward improvement.

    Typically, the carrot works better than the stick. You need to understand what motivates each employee (money isn't everything). Hold them accountable.

    Believe it or not, this is called "company culture" and it starts with you. Do you allow a culture of competitive back-stabbing, or do you cultivate a culture of healthy respect? If you don't already know, then assume the worst.

    Watch a professional sporting event some afternoon. It's not like a "pick-up" game you played as a kid...where rules were made as you went along. There's a coach, and there's a plan...and everybody sticks to the plan. Hold them accountable.

    Sounds like you have a decentralized form of management where you expect each employee to self-manage. THIS NEVER WORKS. Look up the term "TAKT time" and study it well. It's primarily the driving force in industrial settings where employees need to stay in synchronization amongst themselves and/or machinery to accomplish a specified goal. This doesn't happen by chance.

    It is a carefully managed system of >Plan >Do >Check >Adjust

    (Look it up when you get time "PDCA" . Also, look up W. Edwards Demming)

    Unless I've mis-read your post, YOU'RE the boss. And come quittin' time, you're ultimately responsible for what does (or doesn't) get done. Did I mention hold them accountable?


    JB
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2018
    • Like Like x 2
    • Disagree Disagree x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1
  16. AKwrapguy

    AKwrapguy Active Member

    969
    281
    63
    Sep 6, 2014
    Anchorage, AK
    So your probably just venting and I understand the frustration. However if your serious probably the first thing I would suggest is taking a step back. As a business owner you are quite vested in you business and the day to day options so sometimes you can't see the forest from the trees.

    Take a moment at look at the surroundings. Is the work area functional, is there lots of clutter, is it well lite, is it inviting, are there lots of little things that need to be fixed?

    How close are they working together? Are they working ontop of each other or is there space to do what they need to?

    Are there clearly defined roles and policies and procedures for things?

    Are you still stuck in doing things the way you learned them using old software/equipment afraid or unwilling to learn something new?

    What type of people are you hiring? Do they have previous experience? Are you paying them enough? How often do you fire someone? What is a fire-able offence? Are you talking to them about the issues? Are you training them or someone else?

    Here are the few pieces of advice I can give you. Be honest with your employees and yourself about expectations. Slow to hire people but quick to fire. Don't be afraid to hire someone better than yourself, and pay them what their worth, while I understand that that's a loaded statement, sometimes paying a person $20-$30 an hour is worth it if they are easy to work with and is able to produce more and better work than several people making $15-$20 and hour. There's a good chance that you'll have to go through a few people to get that one but it's your business not a charity.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  17. cwb143

    cwb143 Member

    304
    4
    18
    Oct 18, 2010
    USA
    Thanks for all the great responses. Some things I'm dealing with are out of my control. I will create a better environment. Employees will follow my plan. I will get the right people. I do talk to them. Some things have been improving. I pay them good to work. I expect good work. Yes, I was venting some.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  18. cwb143

    cwb143 Member

    304
    4
    18
    Oct 18, 2010
    USA
    I totally get that. But, As an employee once myself, they don't know if you're making money or not.
     
  19. James Burke

    James Burke Being a grandpa is more fun than working

    3,263
    361
    83
    Jan 2, 2010
    Mitten State
    Very true...but they can surely see how a boss (or their spouse) spends it by what they drive, and so on.

    At one shop where I worked, the employees were acutely aware of how the boss (and his wife) spent money...a lot of hobbies, home / kitchen re-models, and a lot of frivolities that did nothing more than siphon funds from the business.

    True, it is their money. BUT, it sure lead to grumpy feelings whenever there were public arse chewings when something went wrong with a project and financial losses were discussed openly.

    JB
     
    • Agree Agree x 3
    • Like Like x 1
  20. TimToad

    TimToad Very Active Member

    2,568
    632
    113
    Jun 13, 2013
    CA
    We try to give our employees credit for seeing the little things that prove we are both stable and on solid financial ground. All of our suppliers are paid on time and ANYTHING the shop needs within reason is just a simple request away. Our employees are paid on time, every pay period without exception. On any pay day they could leave the shop, go to our bank and cash their check knowing with 100% certainty its good.

    We laugh, make jokes, play music, bring in food we grow in our garden to share, buy a few meals a week for everyone, share gifts from clients, etc.

    When something at the shop breaks, its fixed immediately. When a miscue or mistake is made, we don't freak out, counting pennies and start blaming everybody else. You fix it, make up the lost time and move on.

    That all signals to the employee that they are valued and not just an interchangeable cog in a big wheel.

    I've worked for plenty of folks who asked us not to cash our checks for a few days, who wouldn't know a cash bonus or holiday gift, paid half day off, paid lunch or breakfast if their lives depended on it. I've worked for plenty of folks who talked about their money issues constantly and yet, never passed up a nice vacation for themselves, new vehicles for anyone in their family, frequent fancy meals out, etc.

    I once worked at a prominent, award winning environmental graphics/branding and landscape design firm with 20+ employees and several millions in annual revenue. They were the worst offenders I've ever worked for. They lived really high off the hog, but would squeeze every last minute out of an employee and then hold them ransom over this bizarre profit sharing/private pension plan they offered. You had to work there 5 years to be vested at all and if you left, all the money they were supposedly holding back from your checks went back into the pool for the sycophants, long time employees and owners themselves. They would go on lavish vacations and then force us all to sit through video presentations of them in the conference room. A co-worker I became friendly with told me hadn't had a COLA in like 10 years and a week after his last review, the owners showed up at the company picnic in a completely restored Mercedes convertible they had just purchased. His self esteem was so low, he actually fawned over the car while I and others plotted how to distract the owners while we all took turns peeing in it. They even stiffed my wife on some hors douvre trays her restaurant supplied for the picnic and holiday party later that year.

    I lasted just under two years. I still go to their website to see how many long timers are still there.

    Point being, pay your people what you can in relation to their contributions, keep it real with them, hold yourself responsible for the work flow, shop atmosphere and don't expect them to be idiots who can't see when you're treating them schmucks. Reward them with frequent praise, whatever gifts, bonuses, incentives, etc. you can do without creating an imbalance in the dynamic of who is in ultimately in charge. The inmates are not in charge of the asylum, but you can make them feel like they have a vested interest in when they get out.
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2018
    • Like Like x 5
    • Disagree Disagree x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • I Appreciate You I Appreciate You x 1

Share This Page

 


Loading...