Paying your employees properly and showing employee appreciation can be vital to retaining them. Make sure you pay staff enough to motivate them and reward them for their contribution, and do so in a way that is appropriate for their job. That can include base pay as well as other forms of compensation, such as bonuses You can also add-in benefits including sick leave, paid vacations and holidays.
When I asked a successful family law attorney what he felt was part of his success, his answer:
“I pay my staff more than they could make anywhere else!”
Turnover of talented employees can be very costly. With recent studies by the SHRM, it’s now apparent it can cost up to $40,000.00 to replace a quality employee!
Depending on the types of jobs they perform, there might be certain additional or alternative ways to compensate your employees. These can go beyond the basics and include employee appreciation as well as employee awards and recognition. I have found having flexible schedules and special paid days off keep my employees happy. What would work best for your company? And what will be most effective for your employees? Additional information can be found by reviewing the following tips and suggestions:
- Research industry norms and best practices on compensation alternatives by reading and networking.
- Talk with other business owners. Connect with them through your local Chamber of Commerce or through a business networking group.
- To learn more about wage regulations and U.S. labor laws, visit the Department of Labor’s pages on the Wage and Hour Division and Compliance Assistance.
How much do you pay?
Another key question is how much to pay each employee. Begin by establishing a minimum for your pay scale as well as a maximum. You could set the floor based on market rates. Also, be aware of state minimum wage rules, which you can find online via the U.S. Department of Labor website.
In the Sacramento area we find Legal Assistants with around 5 years of experience making $47,000 – $53,000 per year. This varies depending on the size of the firm, years of experience and job description. Legal Assistants with over 10 years of experience can be paid anywhere from $50,000 to $70,000 per year.
As for deciding on a maximum, think about how valuable a person is to your company. Also, consider the competition. If you pay less, the best talent may seek employment with your competition. And, your existing employees may be tempted to jump ship.
Finally, remember that you should hire for the long term, and provide a career path. Successful employees will want raises and promotions—and providing these will help to keep them satisfied and feeling appreciated. Pay fairly in the beginning, but realize you may have to offer more in the years to come.