Here are some helpful tips on talking to your guys about piece work (or any new incentive)
Teach your team
Concept 1 – Let’s all win!
In a traditional pay model the company loses when the employees are inefficient. When they exceed their goals they lose because they don’t see any of that additional benefit. In a Piecework model they win when their efficiency is up. You also get paid based on their efficiency, Win-Win.
Concept 2 – Think like an owner!
Employees will be thinking like the owner because their compensation is directly tied to the work they accomplish. If they lose a good customer on their route they feel the pain. Employees become more responsible.
Concept 3 – Find (or make) the winners!
Ask your crew if they have ever worked in a situation where a poor performer was being paid more than or the same as they were–they probably have. Encourage them that piece work can help keep that problem from happening.
Give a pay raise
Because team members in the piece work system will be more efficient, offer a higher hourly wage when they are on piece work than when they are paid hourly. For example, if one guy normally gets paid $10.00/hr, pay him $11.50 a man hour when on piece work.
Offer a 2-4 week trial.
Here’s how the trial works. For 2-4 weeks, tell the crew that you will pay them either their hourly wages or their piece work wages, whichever is higher. This way they have time to get adjusted to the new system. Make sure to set a definite end period for this.
Show them it can be done.
If your team members don’t think they can complete the work in the estimated/budgeted times, show them how. Get out there yourself and do it (if you are able ), have your top performer demonstrate, or even take them to visit another company who uses piece work. (They could even visit CLIP Lawn Care :-))
Ask them what they need to get the work done efficiently. Do they need better equipment, better routing, a GPS? Do they need more training? Make it happen. The increase in efficiency and morale will more than make up for the investment.
Have you implemented piece work into your company? What has made it successful for you? Please share in the comments.
Go to www.thebeautifulbusiness.com to learn more or order our book “Lawn Maintenance Piecework and the Beautiful Business”