The minimum wage
A number of clients have asked me to comment on the increasing minimum wage we’re seeing both in Canada and the United States. First off, to give yourself a little perspective, for just one week try living on what some of your minimum wage employees are being paid. You’ll be hungry, stressed and depressed in just a few days.
From a business expense perspective, the problem is much greater than many realise. It’s not just the additional cost of higher wages for your lowest wage folks; it’s also the cost of raising wages for all your other employees who will expect additional pay in order to keep the wage hierarchy the same as it was.
So, what’s the solution? Now is the time to interview and screen potential new employees like never before. Don’t hire anyone that you won’t be happy paying $15 an hour to. Then, train and coach, empower, listen to, thank and celebrate as well as measure and reward performance – and deal with non-performance more effectively than ever before. Failure to deal with non-performance is one of the biggest problems in many businesses today.
This is the time to focus on creating world-class operating efficiency in every part of your business by improving methods, systems, processes, training and automation that gets everything done correctly and efficiently the first time, every time and all the time. Ask your front-line people what needs fixing or improving. They know stuff.
In other words, you really need to do all the stuff right now that you should have been doing already. Do all of this out of a genuine interest in getting better and being a better employer, not out of meanness or resentment over the new minimum wage. Your employees will feel that resentment and push back instead of helping the business to get better.
Something to think about
Congratulations! You are in the top 1%. According to the World Bank more than 2.8 billion people on this planet live on less than $2 a day. In fact, a North American salary of just $32,400 a year puts you in the top 1% of wage earners, globally.