The Industry Standard

Today isn’t the first time we’ve talked about employee pay, and it certainly won’t be the last. Have you considered your pay scale in a while? There has been some consistent evidence that paying your employees enough will ultimately cause them to make you more money. They’ll be less stressed which will allow their performance to excel, which will ultimately increase your profit. But there is more to it that we haven’t discussed.

When it comes to third-party opinion of a company, who do you trust more? The customer, or the employee? Personally, I care more about what the employee has to say about the company on a day-to-day basis than I do about one customer’s one-time bad experience. The employee’s opinion is based on consistent exposure, while the customer’s is based on (normally) only one visit.

Employee treatment plays a huge factor in employee opinion, and it’s playing a much larger factor on consumer opinion as well. Employee pay is one of the most talked about components of employee treatment today. In case that doesn’t make sense to you, let me clarify. Employee pay directly effects consumer opinion.

When you think about it, that’s great news. Employee pay is something that is under your control. However, it can be a tricky thing to navigate.

All successful employers are stalking men who will do the unusual, men who think, men who attract attention by performing more than is expected of them.

– Charles M. Schwab

How much is an average accountant worth? According to this USNews article, the average accountant is worth $62,850 per year. But according to a job search on the same site, the majority of accounting jobs in the Chino area (near our office) offer pay in the $40,000 per year bracket. Do a search for any position and you’ll get similar information. If you believe Charles Schwab’s quote, you’ll notice that these companies can’t compete.

The question, however, wasn’t how much does the average accountant make, but how much is one worth? More importantly, how can a small company attract above average talent? As business owners, we need to turn away from pay scales and start offering pay based on our need. When you pay at a pay scale, you’re devaluing the human in the position. When you pay less than the pay scale, you’re insulting them as well. That’s not going to breed the sort of employee opinion that will boost consumer opinion, now is it?

Also, I have to add, knock off the “We’d pay you more, but we can’t afford it” excuse. If you can’t afford to pay for quality, then don’t pay for anything. You’re not helping yourself long term.

Jeff Hadden is one of my favorite business writers because of his direct, no B.S. manner of educating. CEO.com features a great article he wrote about the value of a superstar employee. Remember, you can only overpay a bad employee.

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About the author:

Michael McNew
Web developer, marketing innovator, technology enthusiast, and founder of Visceral Concepts, Michael McNew has developed a passion for delivering value to small business, turning his creativity towards image and reputation building for small business owners.