Tuesday, February 14, 2006

18 Months Later

The day was August 14th. Outside the office, it was the normal hot and muggy day in northwest Florida. Inside, we were in serious trouble. Turnover was staggering and morale was at an all-time low. Meanwhile, potential customers were calling like crazy to set up new service. We had no place to put them because we didn't have enough employees. That's when it hit me.

We need to treat our employees better. Why should they care about this job if we don't give them anything but a tiny paycheck? Let me illustrate what tiny means. Tiny means 22 hours per week at $7.00 per hour, $154. That was the average weekly gross for an employee. Try paying rent, eating, or even driving to work on that amount of money.

Two things happened that day. The pay for performance plan was born and our customer's rates were raised. That day was the single most important day of my life. Without it, we'd be out of business. Without it, I'd be working for somebody else.

Instead, that day did happen. We've grown from four employees to more than thirty-five employees. We're on the verge of opening our third location. The future is indeed bright.

Here's the funny thing. We're still the only company in the world that's doing it. We get calls and emails every day, but nobody else has taken the initiative to make the change. Why? Because nobody else is doing it.

I never thought that we would be the pioneers of the housecleaning industry. But we are. And I hope it stays that way eighteen years from now.

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