My Library and Courses
Last Update: Thursday July 29, 2021

Key Idea: Be Generous

McGinley Construction in Las Cruces has used the same subcontractors for decades creating a unique continuity of quality and deep friendships based upon mutual respect. More...

Key Question:


Be generous because pay plus benefits plus a clean truck wins loyalty! That's what we learned from Kevin. He pays well. In fact, he serves on a committee appointed by the Governor that spends its time studying wage and benefits in the construction business.

What benefit is most attractive to Kevin's team?

Kevin provides the trucks. In most companies like Kevin's, carpenters have their own truck and tools and are paid a salary. Kevin believes by giving the trucks to employees they not only don't have to put miles on their own trucks, they take great pride in driving a shinny truck with the company logo displayed on it. Kevin wins because people do better work when they are proud of what they are doing and his trucks with his logo are all over town.

Q: What are good pay and good benefits?

Many employers, of both small and big businesses, make the mistake of thinking that salary is the only thing that matters to their employees. Not true! The right pay and benefits combination for your company is the one that motivates your employees to contribute 100% of their work potential to your company AND improves your chances of retaining them. But how do you determine what that is?

Let’s start with salary or hourly rate, whatever the base pay metric is in your company. Find out what the industry standard is for the various positions in your organization. Compensation surveys are conducted annually by most trade associations, many Chambers of Commerce, and the Federal government. Most study results are published in ranges, with “median” used as the central measure of tendency. Determine where what you pay your employees falls within the range. Make an adjustment for the cost of living in your area. Salary survey results are published in ranges because the same position in New York City is compensated at a higher level than that same position in Wyoming, where the cost of living is substantially lower. You should set base pay at the appropriate median salary for your geographic area. Why? Because this is what the job is worth when it is adequately done.

But who wants adequate performance from employees? Nobody! We want our employees to exceed our expectations. And when they do, we need to reward them with additional monetary and other benefits. Your compensation plans for each employee should include performance incentives that are measurable against specific outcomes. Those outcomes might be sales dollars, margins, reduced returns, whatever is the most appropriate and controllable by the employee. At least part of the incentive compensation should be based on the operating results and profits of the entire organization. This promotes teamwork and camaraderie, everyone’s financial success (including yours!) is tied to everyone else's.

It is a lot of work to design a compensation package for position, which may mean each employee, but you will be well-rewarded in the productivity of your team and your ability to retain them. For each employee, you should have:

  • A written job description.
  • A set of goals and objectives for the coming year.
  • An annual evaluation where you sit down with them and review performance of the prior year compared to goals and objectives and a review of the goals and objectives for the coming year.
  • A compensation plan that includes: base salary; incentive compensation based on individual and organization-wide performance; and, other benefits.

Let’s talk about "other benefits." As with incentive compensation, our goal here is to motivate and retain our employees. We want to provide benefits with a high perceived value. Certainly, medical insurance is a benefit valued by all employees. Look at adding life and disability insurance, these are perceived as high value but have a relatively low cost. The value of retirement benefits, such as 401(k) plans tends to increase with the age and salary levels of your employees. Think outside of the box, like the value of an onsite day care center, which can be tremendous if you employ a lot of women with small children.

Finally, make sure your employees have a clear understanding of what you invest in them each year. Send a letter annually to each employee, thanking him or her for their contribution that year. Include a sentence, "Your annual compensation for the current year was $X and was comprised of the following:" Include a list of your total cost of employment, including the employer's contribution to social security and any medical or other insurance benefits you provide. Let the employee know what it costs you to employee him or her, which is far in excess of the individual’s gross salary.

Think about it

Good employees require good pay and good benefits. Your challenge is to evaluate how good they are, and then compensate them accordingly. Are you meeting that challenge?

Clip from: Job Creation In New Mexico

Meet Linda Brewer of Blue Dome Gallery in Silver City.

Southwestern, New Mexico: In this episode of the show, we go into New Mexico as guests of the Chamber of Commerce of Las Cruces and Silver City. When we asked them, "What is your biggest business problem?" both said "Job creation." Yet, when we asked, "Are there businesses that are creating jobs?" over 100 businesses were recommended!

So, we asked practically every business advocate in the State of New Mexico,  "Would you take a look at this list and tell us who would you'd like to represent your state on national television?" It quickly became apparent that any  businesses from that list of 100 would have been fine.

In this episode we visit with five businesses and try to learn why they are being so successful in creating work for others. 

We learned a lot.  

Go to all the key ideas and video...
Go to the homepage for this episode...

McGinley Construction, Inc.

Kevin J. McGinley, CEO

2420 Camino Bodegas
PO Box 370
Mesilla, NM 88046

Visit our web site:

Office: 5055239140

Business Classification:

Year Founded: 1978

Be Generous

KEVIN: (Voiceover) We learned, you know, 10 years ago or so, we really needed to retain our own good employees--our carpenters and that kind of--anyone that worked for us has to have that philosophy.

We started offering benefits where no one in town was, you know, health benefits, vacation benefits. (Voiceover) And we try to pay them a decent wage, and we also provide the trucks for them. We want that as an image, but we try to take care of those people. And we've had employees that have been with us for seven, 11 years, over the course, you know. We just keep trying to hire.

The next hire is the next best guy, and we've been fortunate by trying to find good people and sticking with the good people. (Voiceover) I mean, run a good business, you know, pay your bills, pay your people. Take care of them.
HATTIE: (Voiceover) Kevin says the way to attract the best employees is to have a great reputation and a clean truck.

Not a member yet? Learn!  Be empowered! Join us!