Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Pay or Praise?

Being a business owner I continually run into problems/challenges. My wife and I own a bridal store. We just completed hiring 3 new employees.

For the first time we used a little different evaluation process which included an application meeting. All the applicants came, filled out the application, took an oral spelling test, gave a 1 minute presentation as to why we should hire them, took a 15 minute "I.Q." test and answered several other questions on paper for us.

Two of the qestions addressed their pay. One asked how much they needed per hour to come to work for us, the second asked whether they preferred salary based on performance or time on the job. Neither one of these answers were the determining factor for hiring.

Over the years I've read or listened to mangement trainers and professionals who expound all the benefits and reasons why praise is better than pay. Give them a title, or give them a new responsibility rather than a pay increase is typical.

We are a small botique, we have two titles - owner and employee. To "motivate" our employees we provide commissions on some items. Does it work?, not very well.

So help me out here - how do we motivate our employee's - from your point of view, personal experience - not some class theory or book reading crap - but real world, where the rubber meets the road.