Fair Pay

Fair Pay
November 11, 2018 Gary Shotton

Paying your employees or subcontractors a fair payment for their work is important but can sometimes be difficult by Gary Shotton #000241

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Fair Pay

By Gary Shotton

This text is in Extreme Rough draft and will be edited in the near future.

Hello, my name is Gary Shotton, and I’m here with you as a part of inspiring better business and today we’re going to talk about fair pay. Wow, paying your employees or subcontractors. A fair payment for their work is important, but can sometimes be very difficult. I’m telling you, I have many, many examples of this in my business career, and I’ve been on both sides of the coin on this when I’ve done work. And thought I should get paid more on I’ve done work as a company for someone and they refused to pay me so that was really tough. And then on the other side, I’ve been the employer where I have someone working for me either employee or subcontractor, and at the end of the project, they weren’t happy. They wanted paid more. Well, my projects here and this story comes from, actually a question from our groups, we call in and talk to, and this group was in Congo in Africa. very troubled part of the world but we’re calling in and talking them to them regularly, and they’re asking these kinds of questions. And let me tell the story of what they faced. They had a member in their group that had apparently had some kind of work to be done and they had hired five individuals to work on this project and had done what seemed to be a pretty fair job of communicating what the pay would be at the end of the day or the end of the project. I think it was just one day and to an individual’s join them later. I don’t know how much later and they were pretty desperate for work and kind of encouraged or beg to have a job and so this employer, agreed to hire them and apparently, it wasn’t quite as clear as it could have been, because at the end of the day, as described to us, the job did take longer than expected it was more work than expected. And so instead of the original agreement with these two individuals to pay them $30 The owner of the business agreed to pay them $50 But these individuals wanted $100 now the owner was faced with this cutting into almost all of his profit had very little leftover, and on the flip side, he was faced with a probably a pretty bad reputation in town if these two individuals go around town, just spewing how bad he personally was. And this business owner was very conscious of being a Christian testimony.

Well, in many ways, that has happened to me over and over again. And so let’s just talk about now, as a Christian business owner, yeah, it is good to desire to be a good testimony in the community, but it’s gonna take some risk. And this workers you’re working with could well easily put you in a disadvantage or actually know that you’re trying to be a good testimony and take it to their advantage. So I’m going to give you four or five key points here. I think that will help you. They’ve helped me and uh, certainly I’ve made as many mistakes as I have, in the past been successful, but I’m getting better at okay, first of all, number one, the boss is responsible when you took on the role of being the boss or the contract or taking on the project. You’re the one that had to do the estimate. You’re the one that had to do the agreement with whatever you’re doing at the end of the day, and you’re the one must maintain some kind of responsibility and ultimately, the ultimate responsibility to pay your employees carefully and pay them accurately and pay them fairly. Now keep in mind, not everybody is going to be happy, but that is your job. And it’s no way you can delegate that to someone else. You feel you’re going to face this more times than not I wish it wasn’t true. Number two, the worker is entitled to a fair wage. Oh, this is a Biblical person principle. There’s no such thing as shorting your pay or cheating your employees and so there is a moral and biblical and Christian compass that’s going to keep you responsible to provide fair pay. Now ultimately, in number three, the biggest issue seems to be come down to communications and communications is key. There’s where the points are going to come. And if nothing else, if you mess up and you’re everybody’s mad and you wish you had never done the job, and least learn the lessons and don’t do it the same way again next time. It’s called the school of hard knocks, you’re going to pay a little tuition and so be observant and learn every time. First of all, in this written community in this communications, you should make clear the scope of the job. Boy, you got to define that clearly. Are you expecting this person to work eight hours? Are you expecting this person to work till the job’s done or accomplish a given task? I mean, there’s a lot of ways to do a job. So make that clear. Don’t just say hey, come work for me and I’ll be fair at the end at might work out but probably not, then you’re going to have to be sure you’re clear on the basis of pay. Again, is this person being paid hourly? Is it completing the job? Are they are they gaining some benefit? That is future fourth, and you know, if you’d get this job then I’ll give you another job. I mean, that basis of pay is pretty important. Now in communications, that’s the big one.

Obviously, hindsight, 2020 written is always better than just a verbal communications in in working with on both sides of this, whether you’re the contractor, doing work for a big boss, or you’re the boss, boss, contracting somebody else, or hiring somebody else, working for you, but you know, let’s be honest, you’re out there, you’re digging a ditch or working hard. It’s kind of hard sometimes to pull out a piece of paper and be that diligent. That’s best though, write it down to begin with, even if it’s a short paragraph or a couple sentences, make sure you come to agreement, that would be ideal. But if verbal is the only thing here’s why I suggest make sure you have a third party listening in at that time. A neutral third party at least to say, Hey, Joe, come over here. I want to be fair with Bill and I want him to be clear that here’s what we’re doing today. You guys started early, but we all started a little late. So here’s the pay range. That would be a little easier. You wouldn’t have to be quite that blunt. But it’s good to have somebody here the facts, not necessarily record them, be aware of it. Then throughout the day, remind the group in a polite way how your common Hey, this job’s going well, looks like we’re gonna be done on time. Everybody should be happy or early on. You might say hey, there’s some unexpected things coming up. That I really didn’t expect. As we started unfolding the project things this started to grow. So remind the group where they’re at, as you can and then the big old change order in big contracts. There’s a lot of big multi million dollar contracts, especially for construction. And it’s well known that as things change and oil, they pull out a pamphlet or I multi multi layered agreement and says this is a change order, and the change order says the scopes changed and now we’re going to add to or maybe take away but mostly add to the revenue do the contractor do the worker, you know, those change orders is probably the key because it’s going to be a minor way of saying that during the job. And I’m going to give some examples that things have changed. It isn’t the same as before. Now don’t remember now point number one. It’s the business owner that’s responsible to do all this. Do you have a lot of hats you’re wearing? I know. You’ve got a lot of things going but when you take on that responsibility of owning and operating a project or being the owner then you’re the one responsible as things start changing then number four, deal with it immediately. Don’t wait to the end of the day the business owner can communicate this in a way at the stages and say things like Man, this is not going like I plan Are you okay are we okay about still working for the same wage we agreed to I need to know now, before we get to the end of the day. I might be might that might An individual might say Nope. I expect more money and you could say well, I told the money I’ve got adios Goodbye. I’m going to finish the job myself at least you have dealt with it immediately. Don’t assume that it’s just going to go away. And when you do that, again, it’d be nice to be in writing not always going to happen. It’d be nice to have somebody verbally understand or hear that that agreement so you have some kind of a neutral party that asks a little bit as, as a judge there. Now, I’m going to give some examples and sell some real true stories and hope it helps you and we’ll wrap it up here. First of all, I was in a situation in the end of the last day of the year 2000. So that was 18 years ago. And we worked our tail off in a moving business in a big office. And I’m telling you the individuals on the other end so I was providing the service. And I became convinced as the as this unfolded that they had never intended to pay us the full amount of money that we had agreed to. At the end of the job we finished up it took long we worked hard and and we’re only expecting to be paid what we were agreed. But a week later, two weeks later, three weeks later when I go to collect the money. They wanted to short pay me they wanted to pay me less they wanted to say this wasn’t satisfactory. That wasn’t satisfactory. This is all you get and they wrote me a check for about two thirds of what I had agreed to be paid. Man that hurt not only cut me out of no profit, it was digging into all kinds of revenue because I had way too much much expense on this job. So at the end of that one, I did call and call them on the spot and said hey, why don’t we call in a third party? A neutral party. This is biblical. When you’re can agree with something I think you can go and ask somebody neutral to make kind of like an arbitrator arbitrator. And, of course that would make insult to my project because these were a bunch of attorneys that we were moving and so they had an upper hand on the legal spot. But I press the issue and I said you know I’m not happy with this. I think that we need to use the Bible. He was a Christian and less and we named two or three people and we agreed on somebody we felt that would be fair, and we plan our case to them and we resolve the issue. A second case, we had a situation again, I’m supplying the the moving services in this case to someone so I’m the worker although I was a company and I’m moving an individual. And you know, at the end of the day again, they had intended never to pay me the full amount. And so they slipped away and kind of made themselves elusive. So it came time to pay really should have had a check then they weren’t around I instructed my workers to keep us some collateral I needed to balance the scale here a little bit and we loaded up a refrigerator that they owned worth $1,000 or more and we hauled it back to our shop. Now we can talk with a fair arrangement with I think this individual was quite unfair and we came to an agreement and I didn’t back off a bit. I’m telling you I’m not the rug mat. I did all the work. You agreed to pay me I think I had some collateral that means I have something of value, that it wasn’t a total lopsided deal where they’re I’m totally at their mercy. Last and certainly not least I have a ton of examples but just this year we were remodeling a house i i Don’t go out with a hammer myself. Somebody else handles that as a general contractor but I was dealing with a subcontractor and they called me up really upset because I’m the one with the money. And they said, You know, I didn’t get paid all that I’m do and I’m going to take you to court. I’m going to put a lien on his house and I said buddy, go for it. First of all, I knew my rights. He didn’t do anything correct on his side. He didn’t have if he wanted paid extra he should have pulled out the change order. He should have pulled out and say hey, this is a bigger project that I plan. I need to agree right now that he was working for me and I was not going to pay him the extra and he had no change order. He had obviously done this in the past. He was a muscle bound guy that was gonna act like he could even fight me if he wanted to. I didn’t need to fight him. I just didn’t. didn’t ever see him again. I just handled it by phone. Well, I hope these things help you. You’re going to have to be facing as the business owner how to pay your workers, “Fair Pay”


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