Case Design/Remodeling has used a number of employee motivators during its long history, but in the past decade the company has pushed motivation to a new level by sharing its numbers with employees.
“Step one in the process was having the right culture, training, and caring” from the very beginning, says Bruce Case, vice president and executive director of handyman services for the company. “The next step was fine-tuning systems and processes for motivation over the past 10 to 20 years. Really knowing our numbers and key metrics in the past 10 [years] helped us play off other motivators. The next natural step was to bring employees into the fold so we can push this wheelbarrow together.”
Case shares key metrics, breaking the numbers down into sales, gross profit dollars, and gross profit percent, not only by division but also by employee. In addition, there's an annual total compensation review for each employee so they can see how much they make per hour and how much they receive in bonuses.
“We can share with a salesperson their sales per month, per year, per project. We can share gross profit percent by carpenter by month or year and gross profit dollars,” Case says.
Employees have access to this data on a weekly basis so “they know where they stand for themselves and against their peers,” says Case. The knowledge increases both competition and teamwork. Annual reviews run smoothly because half the work is already done, and bonuses can be given accordingly and at any time.
The two key elements in making this motivator work are the company culture and educating employees about where the numbers come from and how they can control them. Case adds that employees like having this company knowledge because, “It's sort of like they're running their own business, and they can be creative in improving their numbers. Hopefully, we all have the same goals.”