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In the US, especially in Washington State, when there’s a government project everybody gets paid the absolute maximum wage, even if they’re inexperienced and not worth that wage. In Antigua, where we are now on our Rotary project, government projects seemingly pay everybody the absolute minimum, as in minimum wage.

We have a journeyman electrician helping us because he’s learning computer networking to add to his skills and abilities. He’s the one who told me about the wage situation, which is why is doesn’t do government work (we’re paying him 4X the minimum plus a bonus)

Learn from these government extreme policies, apply them to small business, and pay attention to the following.

  • Pay people what they’re worth and bonus them when they exceed expectations.
  • Create an atmosphere so people want to stay. If they’re good, and maybe even mediocre, they’re getting calls weekly or more often from recruiters. 
  • Watch out for the hiring bonus trap. A client has to be careful because the going rate for hiring bonuses is more than the bonus amount for current people in the same position (Yikes! See the bonus pool going up?).
  • One thing employees have learned from Covid is they can go do something else if they want to. It may not be your or your client’s, fault, it may be a desired life change (so do what you can do  to postpone this as much as possible).

Sometimes (often) we can learn a lot by traveling and helping others, as well as listening to them.

“Okay, that’s it, I’m out of here.” (The hilarious) Jan Martinka as she ended her talk at an Antigua awards ceremony and exited stage left.

PS People in Antigua have asked us what the hell is going on in Ukraine. It’s a tough question to answer.

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