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>Keep Them Happy


Three years ago we went to our employees and asked “How can we make your job more enjoyable?” They responded with three succinct requests: give us job security, profit share and extended benefits. Tall order? Well, I am proud to say that we have had no layoffs in three years, our crew chiefs take part in a generous profit share and we subsidize a solid extended benefits program. In short, we gave our employees what they asked for.

The company has changed a lot in three years. We have added a marketing manager, operations manager and a production assistant. Not to mention that the business has changed from a sole proprietorship to a partnership. And, we have grown from eight field staff to thirty. Phew!

With all this growth and opportunity you would think that everyone would be happy. Well, some are and some are not. There have been a few grumblings from the field and it seems that the needs of our employees have changed.

In essence it seems that our field staff is looking for one thing: the highest possible hourly wage. We have the best painters in the city and they deserve a great remuneration package. The problem is that we have positioned our company to take on lower margin work in the off season to keep everyone working, provide excellent benefits to lower after tax dollar expenses for our staff and profit share to maximize annual earnings. We accomplish all of this by offering fair hourly wages at the market average not above.

Now what do we do?

Our first step was to have every employee answer a satisfaction questionnaire. Unfortunately, the answers to the survey made the matter more confusing. Our next step is to hold two separate meetings, one with the painters and one with the crew chiefs. The purpose of the meetings is to gain a better understanding of each groups needs. The outcomes are two fold: the field staff tells us what they want and the field staff understands the potential implications of their desires. Should be some fun meetings!

I know that in the end the entire team will work together to com e up with a manageable solution. We always do. And then ion three years we will do it all again.

I will report back with the outcomes from our meetings.


Wolfgang Commercial Painters

Call (888) WLF-GANG or email

Street Address:

112- 4268 Lozells Ave. Burnaby, BC, V5A 0C6