Everybody is accountable for project performance at Gavin Remodeling, Brookline, N.H., thanks to a bonus program that rewards the entire team for working together to complete jobs on budget, on time, and to the satisfaction of clients. Here's how it works.

  • Each job has a maximum bonus of 2% of budgeted job costs, regardless of job size. A job budgeted at $100,000, for instance, has a potential bonus pool of $2,000.
  • The total bonus is divided among all four employees depending on their wages on the job (see chart). The office manager receives a flat percentage for overhead support.
  • Bonus checks are distributed six weeks after the actual finish date.
  • Any job that is completed on budget results in a bonus. But the full 2% bonus is awarded only if the project meets four performance criteria:
  • Job is completed on or under budget (25% of bonus total).
  • Job starts and ends by scheduled start/ finish dates (25% of bonus total).
  • Punch list is complete within 10 days of scheduled finish (25% of total).
  • Customer is 80% satisfied, based on a post-project rating — using a scale of 1 to 10 — of the company in six categories (25% of bonus total).
  • Here's how a potential bonus of $2,000 might be distributed, based on  a $100,000 project that meets all performance criteria. The office  manager receives a flat 10% or 15% of each bonus total (15%, in this example).
    Here's how a potential bonus of $2,000 might be distributed, based on a $100,000 project that meets all performance criteria. The office manager receives a flat 10% or 15% of each bonus total (15%, in this example).

    So, if that $100,000 job comes in on budget but no other criteria are met, the total bonus, divided four ways, is $500. “But usually, if you're on budget and on schedule, and the punch list is complete, the customer is happy,” says Pam Porter-Ladd, office manager. She adds that lead carpenters “are very involved in estimating” and get to review proposals before projects begin to ensure that the budget and schedule are realistic.