Employee Relations

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A great way to show your employees their hard work is appreciated is to implement a system of incentive-based rewards. Whether structured in the form of cash bonuses, merchandise or other types of perks, attaching them to performance communicates to your employees that results equal rewards.

November 01, 2005

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Insurance woes hit California hardest
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Incentives 101

A great way to show your employees their hard work is appreciated is to implement a system of incentive-based rewards. Whether structured in the form of cash bonuses, merchandise or other types of perks, attaching them to performance communicates to your employees that results equal rewards.

Here are some keys to a well-structured system:

  • Keep incentive pay separate from regular pay by issuing a separate check.
  • Stay away from group incentives in favor of individual ones.
  • Track performance daily or weekly to get employees to produce the greatest results.

Although you may be tempted to take a "bah humbug" attitude when it comes to providing your employees with paid holidays and vacation days, the benefit in your employees' attitudes far outweigh the costs to your bottom line.

Even the smallest of remodeling companies are giving the big six — New Year's Day, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas — off with pay.

According to a survey by Hewitt Associates, a management consulting firm specializing in employee benefits, 28 percent of businesses provide 10 paid holidays per year. As for vacations, the standard is two weeks paid after one year of service, three weeks after five years and four weeks after 10 years.

 

Insurance woes hit California hardest

If you think you've been hit hard by rising insurance costs, wait until you hear what's happened to remodeling contractors in California, says Louis Krokover of NewDay Development in Encino, Calif.

"Because of all the hurricanes, the earthquakes, the mudslides, the fires...all the losses against the insurance companies, the liability issue in California now is a nightmare," says Krokover. "The governor bent over backwards and gave the underwriters the ability to basically change your premium in midstream. They're literally forcing people to change how they do work and run their business."

Krokover's company has always subcontracted a lot of its labor, but because his insurance has risen so dramatically in the past year, he has gone from seven full-time employees to just three to save on everything from workers' compensation to withholding taxes.

"This is the wave of the future because of what's happening with insurance," he says. "You can't afford to have 10 or 15 employees in California anymore because you have to pay $2,200 per employee on top of your normal premium. They've set the standard here in California and the other states are looking at this with open eyes. It's going to go from the West Coast to the Northwest, and it will spread itself east."

The List

All employers are required to provide the following benefits:

  1. Family and Medical Leave (check state requirements)
  2. Allow time off to vote, serve jury duty and perform military service
  3. Comply with all workers' compensation requirements
  4. Withhold FICA taxes
  5. Pay state and federal unemployment taxes
  • Source: Entrepreneur.com

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