Give me a chance to explain this one. I understand the generality of the statement but we need to have this conversation especially when it retains to the service industry. All industries are to blame so don’t think you can get out of this situation simply because you are B2B. Very few companies pay low level managers correctly and it shows. Imagine working at an organization where the average pay of a worker is around 14 dollars USD. Not to bad right? Not many responsibilities. Get your work done and go home. Trading time for money. Easy math. All of the sudden, one these employees does a really good job and the Operations Manager notices. Congratulations are in order for this individual as they are promoted to Team Lead! Part of the elite and amazing leadership team. How much does that pay, you ask? For more examples than I have the time to explain without writing a full book, their pay will go up 1 to 2 dollars USD. Okay, they are not doing much more responsibility wise… hopefully. Unfortunately, this is not usually the case. Added requirements such as scheduling, quality management, problem resolution, hiring, or firing are added to the plate. Who in their right mind would take on all these extra headaches for a 10% raise? None and that is why many managers are not in their right mind. How will this affect the organization? Are these people putting their heart into being a leader? When a problem arises, will they care enough to solve the problem correctly? Let us talk about this.
Taco Bell seems like a good example to use to show where this is a problem. Currently, Payscale.com shows workers getting around 8.41 USD as an average in the United States. Going up to a General Team Leader which would be an employees first jump into leadership, the average goes up to 10.44 USD. I chose this one because even though it is slightly better than my example most reading this will be in shock by the reality of these averages. Getting paid little as a basic worker is understandable because the lack of responsibility that comes with working in such a position. However, as soon as leadership responsibilities are added on top of those worker responsibilities, a dramatic increase compensation wise needs to take place. When you fail to increase wages with responsibilities added, the individuals willing to take the role decreases. Qualified individuals for the role will go else where. The bottom of the barrel will stick around for the paltry throw of a nickel of a dollar raise. Enough of the negativity, someone does it right, right?
Target Corporation shines brightly as a White Knight there to save a loved one. Retail Sales Associates make around 10.67 USD on Average while a Team lead makes, drum roll…. 17.11 USD. Almost a double in terms of pay. Yes! Much better! That is an increase. That shows the company they appreciate their hard work and want them to add on to the work load. Imagine the life change from the employee point of view. They go from making it by to starting a savings, getting that overdue oil change, and maybe even going out to eat once in a while. Yes they will have to deal with the headaches of becoming a leader but they are paid for the effort they are putting in. When leadership is more comfortable in their position, they will be bright light for the employees behind them. Their actions will show purpose. Instead of stressing about wasting time at pay that will not get them out of their position in life, they are striving to do their best.
Take some time to think about this especially if you have gone into a Target verse a Taco Bell. For me the experience brings fond memories. Multiple times, I have been in a Taco Bell where a fight broke out among the workers with a manager working that did not care to stop it. All the customers in the location heard. It was unavoidable. Meanwhile in Target, my experience is always amazing. Yes, sometimes employees are indifferent but they are always willing to help and somewhat content. The difference is noticeable. Pay managers properly. They are the individuals that make it possible for owners to focus on other issues instead of worrying who stocked isle 6 incorrectly. They are the individuals who will help employees get through personal problems and execute while at work. They are the individuals that will turn a bad customer experience into a good one because they showed empathy and kindness. If you do not know where to start, follow a solid rule: When an individual jumps into their first leadership role, their pay should go up at least 50% and not more than 100%. This is a good window to show you believe in them but not so much that it seems extravagant. One more quick note. You are hiring them as a leader. Train them as such.
Helping Managers assist their employees in finding their why, creating a path to achieve that why, and keeping them on that path.
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