Perry Simon September 17, 2021 at 12:25 PM 8 min read

How to Pay Tent Installers

Tent installers play an essential role for any tent rental businesses. No tent rental business can survive without installers, so it’s important to keep these employees happy. At the same time, ensuring that installers work both quickly and diligently can have an enormous impact on the amount of time it takes to get your event set up and your client’s impression of your business.

It is vital that your payment structure properly incentivizes your tent installers to meet your goals. What are the different methods of payment for tent installers, and how do they incentivize your workers?

Hourly Wage

Hourly payment structures are popular in many industries, and tent installers are not an exception. An hourly wage gives potential employees a clear picture when trying to understand how they will be paid for their work, and it can encourage employees to work longer and more often to get more hours in. It also helps ensure people are appropriately compensated for their time.

However, how does this motivate your tent installers to act on the job? If they are paid to take more time on each event set up, this leaves room for employees to take advantage of you by moving relatively slowly. This may be on purpose to stretch out their hours and make more money, or it may just be a lack of urgency that causes them to move slower. Either way, it will reflect poorly on your business, and will be costly for you, as your employees squeeze you for more pay for the same work and results.

This type of payment structure works well so long as you trust your crew.

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Percentage of Order

Another strategy is to pay your installers a percentage of each order they work on. This way they will be accurately compensated for the amount of work they do, rather than the time they put in. You can even get more specific and assign a lead and a helper on each job, paying each of them a different amount as appropriate.

This will incentivize your installers to work faster, as they are not compensated for any extra time spent on a given task or project. This works in favor of your goal of completing your setup faster, but may also come with some drawbacks.

Installers working in a rush can lead to mistakes and oversight. Errors made by tent installers can lead to safety risks and huge costs both financially and in terms of your company’s reputation. You want your installers to work quickly, but you also need them to work diligently. What can you do to incentivize both?

Bonuses

Bonuses are the key to filling incentive gaps in your payment structure.

Let’s say you pay your installers an hourly wage, and have noticed that they tend to move slower than you’d like. A bonus for completing their work in a timely manner by setting a certain time for each job can be a powerful incentive, especially if the bonus is worth more than the extra wages they’d earn by moving slower.

If you pay your installers a percentage of each order, you may consider giving a bonus for receiving a good review from a client. This incentivizes your installers to go all out for the client, and to make sure that they do their job well. It is no longer worth it to rush through the job, as they’ll miss out on potential bonuses.

Of course, you can offer both of these types of bonuses for either payment method. These tactics are designed to incentivize your employees to see your goals as common, and to put forth the type of work that you desire from them.

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What message are you sending your employees?

The way you pay your employees sends them a message about what you prioritize. An underpaid employee will likely give you a quality of work that matches. An employee paid to spend more time on a job will spend more time on that job. An employee who is paid extra to treat customers well is much more likely to care about the customer service aspect of their job.

Keep in mind what message you send your employees with your payment structure, and adjust accordingly to make sure that you incentivize your employees to meet your goals and expectations. Don’t just tell them what you want, incentivize them to work the way you want them to.

In addition to seeing better quality of work from your employees, you may also find that certain payment structures and incentives lead to better retention. Finding good employees is a tough part of this business, so the extra cost of a bonus can save you time and money down the road in finding, training, and building trust with new employees.

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Perry Simon

Perry Simon is a graduate of the University of Maryland, College Park and is a marketing intern at Goodshuffle Pro, a software company dedicated to empowering events industry professionals.