Survey sought input on salary

Thursday, August 25, 2011

When Richard Davis wanted to create a realistic--and rewarding--pay scale for his employees, he turned to the experts: his fellow HME providers. Davis, vice president of customer satisfaction and human resources for Valdosta, Ga.-based Barnes Healthcare, created a salary survey that he shared through LinkedIn and various state associations. He spoke with HME News recently about why it's important to not only pay a fair wage, but to create incentives for employees to grow.

HME News: Why did you do this survey?

Richard Davis: You get to a point with some wages where they get to be maxed out. You don't want to get to that point because you create disincentive to continue to excel. So, we asked about everything from what's a realistic number to bring on an employee with no experience or with experience; and what type of range do we need to create so that employees who have been with us awhile and have good skills--do we need to set a tier so they have opportunity for additional advancement?

HME: What would be an example of a tiered system?

Davis: If you have a very experienced patient care coordinator who's at the top of the pay range, maybe you create a patient care coordinator level two or senior patient care coordinator where they would take on some additional responsibilities. You would give them some more learning opportunities so they might be able to take on new positions that come open that might require somebody with more skill.

HME: In addition to salary questions, what else did you want to know?

Davis: We also asked whether they had a 90-day review with pay increase. And there were also questions related to sales: Whether they pay base or base plus commission, commission only or paid on leads. That's another big question I get all the time: How do you create a sales structure that incentivizes salespeople to do all the things that you need them to do and not just sales?

HME: Is salary the most important thing to an employee?

Davis: A wage is only one aspect; benefits are another. The other parts are the stability of the company and the environment in which you are going to work. In the end, people don't quit jobs, people quit people. People will leave a high-paying job if it's a poorly managed company with abusive managers.