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Compensation methods
Goodturf
#1 Posted : Monday, February 15, 2010 5:32:09 PM
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Location: USA
I have heard of different methods of compensation for employees. At the winter meeting I heard of paying office staff a percentage of sales, employees a piece of each pallet sold, and truck drivers a flat fee cut or a percentage of the load delivered. I have always just paid a wage only, but am wondering if I should not look for new ways to provide encouragement and incentive. This winter has been so wet and long that when we get back into business our year will be all the shorter. Keeping the motivation up will be valuable once business comes back. I also want to find a key manager on the ground at the farm and am wondering if I should not have some kind of incentive program for him to get the most out of him.

Any ideas other farmers are willing to share would be very helpful.
pineturf
#2 Posted : Tuesday, February 16, 2010 7:44:03 AM
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We pay our truck drivers an hourly wage when they work ON the farm. When they are on deliveries we pay by the zone they deliver to (the further they go the higher the rate) and an additional stop charge that varies with the distance between stops (averages about $10). Our driver average about $4/hour more per hour when delivering sod then their regular hourly wage. We are just getting into the big soil bags and are having a dilemma on how to pay our drivers if they have 20 stops. Our system works well with sod and up to 6 stops but this system won't work well with 20 stops. Anybody have suggestions?
Goodturf
#3 Posted : Thursday, February 18, 2010 9:06:46 AM
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We used to pay our driver an on-the-farm wage and then additional dollars per hour for driving the truck. That worked until he quit because he did not want to do farm work. I have always had a problem finding a driver who is willing to work either on the farm or driving truck. However, the current driver does just that and has not quit. He will mow grass, pick up sticks, operate the forklift, run the harrow, or deliver sod. He is paid a base salary for the week so that if he comes under 40 hours he gets his base. As he gets hours over the threshold, he gets paid something more.

What methods are used for paying people in sales? Commission, percentages? Anybody willing to share those percentages? Has it worked? Do the people involved in sales become complacent after a while if they are receiving a commission or do they keep pushing?
turfman67
#4 Posted : Thursday, February 18, 2010 2:42:08 PM
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Location: Monee, Illinois
We pay our drivers either by the load/distance further out the greater the pay. They will get paid more if they unload themselves vs. having the contractor unload himself. On splits if it is for the same contractor it need to be greater than 5 miles apart before they get paid for another split. If it is a different contractor they will get paid for the split even if it is on the same block. Our dump drivers get paid by the hour, salt gets paid by the hour no matter what bagged or bulk. If we are transferring materials between locations it is paid by the hour. It can become complected but we don't have turnover in our drivers of the 24 drivers the average years of service is 16 years. Our drivers at our southern farm where our bentgrass production is will go long distance (beyond 200 miles) when this occurs they get paid a flat fee and mileage.

On the office side we give our counter staff spiffs for meeting quotes on certain products during certain times of the year. We always spiff for fertilizer. Think like shoe store sales person what is the first thing they ask you after you selected a shoe, do you need leather protector/shoe laces/socks this is where they get their greatest commission not on the shoes themselves. Accessorize that turf.
Goodturf
#5 Posted : Friday, February 19, 2010 5:42:58 PM
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Location: USA
turfman67 wrote:

On the office side we give our counter staff spiffs for meeting quotes on certain products during certain times of the year. We always spiff for fertilizer. Think like shoe store sales person what is the first thing they ask you after you selected a shoe, do you need leather protector/shoe laces/socks this is where they get their greatest commission not on the shoes themselves. Accessorize that turf.


What are "spiffs"?
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