Business Management

How to give a pay raise that you can take back

Being a man with a business mind and, at the same time being fascinated with the way that other industries operate and all the while being a huge Red Sox fan, I at times found it puzzling why baseball players command such high salaries.  Studying this over the years, I have learned that it is a good investment for ball club owners to pay huge salaries.  Frankly, no one would ever pay a player if there wasn’t a tangible ROI (return on investment).  True, in some markets, ROI is impossible because there are not enough customers.  Still, whatever the salary, an ROI is expected.  It would frustrate me greatly when a player having a banner year asks for a raise, gets it and then performs poorly.  Don’t you think that pay should be performance based?  It will not likely ever be such in professional baseball, but can we make it that way in our shirt laundry?  I think so.  I came up with a strategy that I call “How to give a pay raise that you can take back.”


Solving Problems

Ok, I admit it.  I am world’s biggest Columbo fan.  Surely you must remember the bumbling Los Angeles homicide detective in the crumpled raincoat.  (Why did he always wear that in LA?)  My fondness for Columbo has nothing to do with his style or his mannerisms, although those traits never annoyed me.  I considered them to be a wee bit of comic relief.  After all, Columbo did have a grim job.  He just made us forget that.  Anyway, I like Columbo because of the ingenious writing – the quality of the stories.  On Columbo, you always knew whodunit, but it was hard to imagine how the seemingly hapless detective would figure it out.  He always had us amidst a genuine mystery.


Easy ways to improve quality

Most plant operators have some sort of an idea of the quality of the shirts that they produce. My experience has shown that they really are quite objective.  I don’t recall anyone proclaiming that their shirts are a “ten.”  Most say that their shirts are a “seven.”  They are about right.  The problem is that they all seem to be at a loss as to how to raise them to even an “eight”.  They’re stuck at the rating that they are at, with no clue and perhaps no inclination to raise it.  Customers seem ok with it too, so the plant staffers, as a whole, collectively, have bigger fish to fry and leave the shirt quality where it is at.  Is it “good enough”?  Evidently so.  Our final inspectors, the customers, aren’t particularly dissatisfied, so we move on to something else.  Complacency is the name of the game.


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