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Amy Campbell,

Perks vs. Paychecks: What Incentives Does Your Self-Storage Company Offer to Retain the Best Managers?

By Amy Campbell Comments
Posted in Blogs

By Amy Campbell

There are very few of us who work simply because we  love it. While there are plenty of altruistic people who don’t need the weekly paycheck to get by—or have learned to live without it—most of us are not in that group. This isn’t to say we don’t love our jobs, but getting paid is a great motivator to get up in the morning. And usually it’s not just the dollars that motivate us to do our jobs every day. Many of us also enjoy great perks.

In fact, I recently came across an interesting article on MSN Carreers about how more companies are recognizing how job perks can help them retain top talent. A recent CareerBuilder survey asked nearly 4,000 full-time employees which job factors were most important in making them feel satisfied in their jobs. Some of the responses included a flexible schedule, ability to work from home, being able to make a difference and challenging work.

The survey also asked respondents to identify one perk that would make their workplace more satisfying. The top answers were half-day Fridays, an onsite fitness center, casual dress code and daily catered lunches.

While few self-storage operators will likely add a gym or provide their staff lunch every day, there are a number of perks owners can offer their managers. Perhaps half-day Fridays are out, but a quarterly half day beyond the standard paid-time off might be doable. You could call it “My Manager Is Awesome Half Day.”

Or perhaps you have a manager who’s really made a difference at your facility. Maybe he improved occupancy over a three-month span, stepped up his marketing game, or oversaw a huge property-improvement project. Doesn’t this deserve at least a gift certificate for a nice meal and a couple of movie passes?

While perks are great, we cannot forget that everyone needs to make a comfortable living. But determining a pay rate that’s fair for the employees and ownership can be a challenge. Adding bonuses can murky the water even more. Read the article "A Self-Storage Owner's Guide to Manager Bonuses: Program Types and Consideratons," by Pamela Alton for guidance.

And if you’re attending the Inside Self-Storage World Expo, April 2-5, in Las Vegas, be sure to catch the seminar "Manager-Compensation Programs in Self-Storage." Michael Rhoads of PFG Capital will talk about the factors that affect compensation, such as the facility’s size and the manager’s skill level, key performance measures, and how to set goals for employees.

There is no one-size-fits all when it comes to employee paychecks or job perks. Each property and every manager will have different needs and desires. In the end, your goal is to create a great work environment in which your staff is challenged, yet not overburdened, adequately compensated—with maybe a bonus here and there—and always, 100 percent appreciated. Everything else this is just icing on the cake.   

Share your thoughts on self-storage manager paychecks and incentives by posting a comment below, or visit Self-Storage Talk, the industry's biggest online community.


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