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Stretching Your Dollars How to get the most from your minimum-wage employees

By Jacquelyn Lynn

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Entrepreneur magazine, March 1998

Getting top-notch performances out of minimum- wage workers is a challenge--but it is possible, says Robert K. McIntosh, author and publisher of Minimum Wage, Maximum Results. He offers these tips for managing your minimum-wage employees:

  • Understand what motivates each employee. McIntosh calls it the "hot button concept"--if you know what makes someone perform, you can provide the appropriate inspiration.
  • Determine your expectations and communicate them clearly. People can't do what you want them to if they don't know what that is. Be sure you know what you expect from your employees, then be sure you've made that clear.
  • Create a positive environment. Provide positive feedback and incentives to build an environment where employees want to excel.
  • Hire the right people. Take the time to thoroughly evaluate and screen new employees.
  • Invest in training. This gives your employees the skills they need to do their jobs properly.
  • Develop employee retention programs. Strive to keep the people you have; it's less expensive and more efficient than replacing them.
  • Reward performance. Use tangible (money and prizes) and intangible (praise and recognition) rewards to reinforce positive behavior.

Contact Sources

Robert K. McIntosh, 5527 Cathedral Oaks, Santa Barbara, CA 93111, rkm@hp2.ksimaging.com

Jacquelyn Lynn is a business writer in Winter Park, Florida.

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