The story goes that Henry Ford, the founder of Ford Motor Company, one day came into his factory and asked how many cars had been built that day.

He was told the number was 6. So he painted the number 6 on the floor where everyone could see it.

When the night crew came in for their shift, they saw the 6 on the floor and asked why it was there.

They were told it was because that’s how many cars the Day-Shift had built.

Well, in the spirit of competition, the night crew got to work and built 7 cars that evening.

They then scratched out the 6 and painted a 7 in its place.

And as you might imagine, this motivated the day crew to build more cars the next day.

Well, the competition heated up and eventually, both the day and night crews were building more than a dozen cars every shift. Trying to outdo one another.

Ford knew that lively competition would work to motivate his people but he also knew that he needed to pay them well.

Which he did through profit sharing. Paying them up to $5 dollars per day in 1914, when the average houly wage was only .33 cents.

These strategies and others helped Ford to become the top automaker in the US.

So, how can you apply some of these strategies to your business?

Have you considered performance pay?

Say for example you incentivize your tow truck operators by paying them $20 dollars for every 5-Star review they get for your business.

Hear me out.

First off, consistent reviews skew Google’s algorithm in your favor. Which helps to raise your GMB higher in the results.

Second, people use reviews to make buying decisions.

Third, for your tow truck operators to have the ability to get 5-Star reviews, they must provide exceptional customer service. (Are you getting it yet?)

And fourth, motorists who receive exceptional customer service may become repeat customers and refer your business to their friends and family.

It’s a win for everyone involved.

And there are other benefits of this type of performance based incentive.

  • You create a fun environment of competition between your tow truck operators.
  • It gives them another reason to want to come to work.
  • They can make more than $100 dollars per day.

Now you might think that’s too much to pay.

And it very well may be depending on how you run your business.

Yes, I’m looking at you, motor club heavy guys.

But, if you’re not one of those guys and you’re consistently marketing and running a tight ship, making decent bank…one of your biggest expenses is filling tow truck operator positions.

Expenses include lost productivity, recruiting costs, training costs, damages, and how the loss impacts the rest of your people. Especially if the person who left was an A-Player.

Of course there are other things you can do to incentivize your people.

  • Paid time off
  • Health Insurance
  • 401Ks
  • New trucks and equipment.
  • Pizza parties with families invited

You may be thinking that these are unsustainable. It’s going to take all your profit.

If that’s your argument, you’re missing my point.

When you invest in your people they feel at home with your business…and everyone is on the same page working to make the business the best it can be…because they’re reliant on it succeeding.

  • They’re more loyal
  • Their families have bought in to your organization
  • Your customers receive better service
  • Recruiting new and better talent gets easier (people want in)

The result is your business will grow.

Heck, Ford even went so far as to help his employees with their families and home life so in-depth that it sounds foreign to us today.

You can find a copy of Ford’s Employee Manual by Googling, “Helpful hints and advice to employees to help them grasp the opportunities which are presented to them by the Ford profit-sharing plan.”

He offered instruction on how to invest, get the right type of insurance, keep their homes clean, and their children in school.

Ford even had a class that taught English and helped immigrants attain legal citizenship.

I’m not suggesting that you invade their privacy or anything. But the more you can invest in them the better.

Ask about their goals and then offer assistance to help them achieve them.

Do they want to buy a house? Save for the future? Take a vacation?

Well, you can help them create an action plan that keeps them on track with celebrations when certain milestones are met.

Of course, if your still just grinding right now, hoping that the phone rings soon, investing in employees might not be top of mind.

If that’s you, I suggest that you begin to think long-term, as Richard did in my last email. Start thinking about what you want your life to look like 10 years down the road.

Then with your next hire, try to implement some of the strategies mentioned and ask that person what they want their life to look like in 10 years.

Tell them your goals. And ask if they want to join you on your journey.

Then really get to know them.

Invest in them, and future employees as you would your own children and you’ll grow into a person better than you are today.

Don Archer

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