Employee raises


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Posted by M.R. Daniels on October 20, 2001 at 06:45:17:

I managed 14 employees for 17 years in a big east coast city and never had this problem. We now live in a rural farming community and when we first moved here five years ago and needed to hire help we didn't research salaries well enough and within a year found we had a crew of part time and full time assistants and were paying them nearly double the local going rate. I wouldn't have minded that except that they weren't terribly skilled and others would do the same job for far less money. It was one of the glitches in our production that we had to sort out.
Well, those people are gone. We had to lay off the highest paid ones and eventually they found other work, and guess what? Our production is the same without them! Lesson learned.
Two of the original people are still here, doing a very nice job, and being very loyal and hard working and my tendency is to give them a raise.
Here's my question: Is there a standard "cost of living" percentage raise affixed to general raises? I don't want to get back to where I am paying these people more than they're worth (I sometimes am a softy) when I could find a half dozen new people who could do just as well for less. OTOH, I feel they deserve some reward. Would an occasional bonus, say an extra hour or two bonus when they have done something extraordinary, be better or an across-the-board increase? I don't want to lose them and have to train someone else, but I am hesitant to get back into being the county's Biggest Sucker of all employers! (We wondered why we had so many people inquiring here for work!)
How do you determine if the work force is worth more, or if it would be just as worthwhile to find others and train them up?
MR


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