Pay Employees What They Ask for. Here's Why
BY Ilya Pozin
Want productive, efficient, and committed employees? Take money off the table and you'll see what they're really made of.
If you want employees who are passionate, productive--and do whatever it takes for your company--pay them what they ask for.
Employees spend a major part of their lives at work. They should be there because they love their jobs and not because they get paid to come in.
That's the reason why, at Ciplex, we don't give bonuses, don't have reviews tied to raises, and, simply, do not use money as a motivator. We take money off the table--from the hiring process to daily operations. In return, we have the most enthusiastic, dedicated employees, who truly give a $%*# about our company. In fact, they often get offers for higher-paying jobs and turn them down.
Here are steps every employer needs to take to make sure money isn't an employee's incentive to work hard:
1. Take money out of the equation from the get-go.
During the first interview, ask potential hires what they need in a salary, rather than dictate what you have to offer. Don't negotiate a salary or try to force an employee to take a lower amount than he needs. If you do, that person will always be thinking about money, looking out for other jobs that pay more, and will never be fully dedicated to what you're trying to accomplish.
2. Ask for specific salary requirements.
A potential hire might say she needs $50,000 a year. Don't end the conversation there. Follow up with: 'What would be the salary amount another company could offer that would make you consider taking an interview or leaving us?' You want to be fully aware of an employee's money motivations before you commit.
I have an employee who makes $60,000 a year. Since he started working for me, he received three job offers to make $80,000 a year, but he turned them all down. He's not driven by a higher dollar amount than I'm paying him. I made sure he earns enough at my company to pay his bills, and he's passionate about what he's doing at Ciplex.
3. Make sure current employees aren't motivated by money.
I've asked every employee at my company to break down his monthly bills. I find out what each employee needs to pay his mortgage, rent, utilities, cell phone--even Netflix bills.
People generally think of salaries annually, but no one pays bills annually. So it's not effective or meaningful to talk about an annual $60,000 or $70,000 salary. Learn what your employee's expenses are on a monthly basis--and be sure you cover that.
4. If you can't offer what an employee needs, part ways.
An employee might say she needs more money on a monthly basis than what you're able to pay her. If that's the case, the employee will always be looking for more opportunities for financial advancement--rather than fully dedicated to your company.
If the amount of money an employee needs to live a happy life is above what you can offer, she's probably not the right employee for you, and that's OK.
5. Never bring money back into the equation.
Don't give bonuses or pay someone more for working extra hours or on Saturday. You want to incentivize employees to work hard through other methods like generous praise, lunches on the company or staff parties, no undue criticism or corrections. Here are other ways I motivate employees more than money could.
ILYA POZIN is the founder of Open Me, a social greeting card company. He founded his first company, Ciplex, a digital marketing and creative agency catering to small businesses and start-ups, at age 17. @ilyaNeverSleeps