Tag Archives: wages

How Do You Match the Offer from a Competitor

“Can you match the other offer?” I asked.

“Not a chance. Most of the people on my team, we were able to get during the recession within our pay structure. But now our competitor has come back strong, they have a new owner willing to pay much higher wages,” Ray replied.

“Then you will lose them,” I nodded.

Ray was quiet. “There’s nothing I can do?”

“No, with that pay differential, you are going to lose them.”

“But, I could lose my whole team,” Ray protested. “There must be something I can do.”

“Accept the fact that you could lose your whole team.”

Ray sat back, his eyes slowly went to the ceiling, staring at a corner. “Okay, so what do I do?”

“First, look at your roster, this list of people on your team. Would this other company really come in here and hire every one of them with an offer to double their compensation? For real?”

“Well, no, there is only one person, who worked for them before,” Ray was ticking through the list. “And they are truly an A performer. They probably deserve what they were making at the other company. We just couldn’t match it here.”

“So, let’s say your team does become a target, the offers are likely to be competitive, let’s say 3 percent better. What can you do to retain your team?”

Didn’t Leave for Better Wages

The resignation letter stared at Adrian. His best team member, Eric, had just quit. Eric was employee of the year last December and just received a raise two months ago. He was in line to become lead technician in his department. What could be better? What else could Adrian, his manager, have done?

I inquired about the exit interview conducted by the HR coordinator. The form stated that Eric left for better wages.

Adrian was worried. Three years ago, Eric entered the company as an inexperienced recruit among a group of seasoned veterans. Over time, his personal productivity outpaced the entire team. In Eric’s absence, Adrian feared the overall output of the team would falter. Eric often carried the whole group.

I called Eric, already gainfully employed (at a lower wage) in another company. Happy with his decision, Eric shared his story. On a crew of six, Eric had consistently accounted for 50 percent of the output. The other team members were slackers riding on his coattails. I asked what Adrian could have done differently. The advice was quick and simple. “Cut the dead wood. Release the poorest performers and productivity would have increased, even with a reduced headcount.”

Adrian is left with the remnants of a mediocre team. But before he can heed the advice, he has to find another Eric.