Passionate, Smart Employees Make for a Successful Company

How Does a business achieve passionate employees?

I have a philosophy, if I took a magical Passion Meter and stuck it in the side of a business if the meter showed low, I would say that company is doomed to fail.  Passionate employees make for successful companies.  Look at any sports team that consistently wins or consistently successful enterprises.

There is also a single word that embodies a successful company, CULTURE, specifically one that embraces its employees in a positive manner.

One way to generate passionate employees is to treat them as valuable asset that needs cultivation.

A better way to motivate employees starts with a well-written job description that identifies responsibilities and the goals to be achieved.

Many times I am asked is there a better way to conduct employee reviews and wage determination and always point to Gary Markle and his book Catalytic Coaching: The End of Performance Reviews.

My company embraced this philosophy and I realized unknowingly, I was using it myself without knowing and my brother and my business partner confirmed it to me.

Wages for every job position are determined by the market, not what employees ‘need’ and it works both ways, for and against employer and employee.  We live in a capitalist society and supply and demand along with quality (of person) and level of job responsibility dictate salary.

The philosophy embraces developing employees’ Career Skills, good for both the employer and employee.  Think of YOUR COMPANY as a University.

Employees will bond better with your company once they know you are working to help them improve the work skills that can help them make more money.  Sounds a bit oxymoron but that is exactly how you keep employees passionate.

There are three (3) forms Gary Markle uses.  The first one is written up by the employee.  The second one (see attached) is written by their supervisor and includes employee notes as documentation used to justify any dismissal that might occur.  The third one is completed by the employee on actions they will take to Work On Their Career.  The Rights to these forms belong to Gary Markle but are helpful to see what he wrote.

Reworded in a generic format to avoid conflict with Gary’s forms are also attached here.  There are just two (2), Form I and Form II that are generic.  Form III is the Career Planning not provided in a generic format as it has not yet been written.

When it comes to a wage discussion, you need to have an honest conversation.  First, you, as a company, must assess the market value placed on the skilled position you have in your Job Description and if you had to hire a NEW Employee, what would you have to pay them?

What are you paying your current employee vs. the market value?

Also, if the market value for a job title (Controller, office manager, etc.) says $30,000 (just an example) to start and has a range up to $45,000, you have to use the adage,  You Get What You Pay For.  I use Critical Thinking capability as a major marker for what a salary/wage should be set at.

Further, for the example provided, you start someone at $30,000 (right out of school) and move them up until they reach the midpoint, $37,000$-38,000 and only pay them more if they are outstanding.  If the employee has skills beyond the position hired, you may end up losing them or hopefully, you can promote them to the right position to follow the thinking, Put People On the Right Bus, in the Right Seat.   The other scenario is you have the wrong person on YOUR bus, let alone in the wrong seat and termination is better than continuing with a non-productive and unhappy employee.

Review all your positions for market wage value.  I did it for my company with help from my HR person and we found we were paying correctly for the most part and where we were short, we corrected it.

You may need to think of hiring an HR person who can help you with getting and maintaining this market wage information and also any benefits, etc. that need administering.  Over time, wages change both up and down.  Many employees think everything goes up.  It does not.  Ask United Airline Pilots whose pay was reduced, Sep 28, 2020 — United Airlines’ pilots agreed to accept lower minimum pay guarantees to prevent almost 4000 of their members from being put on furlough.

The Wage Review is really a Renewal of Employer/Employee ‘Vows’,  like re-hiring the existing employee.  The employer requires certain skills for the position versus what the market value is for the job skill you need in your business.  If you want a smart company, hire smart people, otherwise, low-salary employees may make for a ‘dumb company’.   I believe you should be paying somewhere at the 75% tile of the job salary range.

When the employee realizes this process, they tend to understand, you, the employer, are not the ‘bad guy’ but rather it is the marketplace.  Many employees then realize actions they need to take to get at whatever wage goal they have in mind OR realize the reality of ‘their’ limitation.

During this process, you, as an employer, are HELPING the employee with their CAREER.  It’s a win-win vs. the employee review is usually a lose-lose most of the time and tends to make you, the employer, be The God-Father, handing out wage increases at ‘your discretion’.

This process can be an eye-opener for both the employer who is grossly underpaying or the employee who realizes they are being paid fairly.

The process takes more time but employees are one of a company’s valued assets and the returns outweigh the alternative, turnover, and low employee passion.

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