Surge Pay

My friend Laurie Ruettiman wrote about Uber’s Surge pricing recently.  You know, when Uber basically is super busy, so to advantage of this time, they up their prices to meet demand. Do you really want a ride?  Okay, that will be twice the amount as normal!  It’s basic economics of supply and demand.  No one really seems to mind all that much, people get it.  There are more people who need rides than their are rides available.  I’ve got more money than you, I really want a ride! Welcome to America.

Someone commented on her post about companies doing this with wages.  It was tongue in cheek, but I wonder…

Think of those times when ‘Surge Pay’ would really be welcomed!  Like the last time you were at the DMV and had to wait 3 hours to get your license renewed and you watched the state employees seem get slower and slower as the line grew longer and longer.

Surge Pay to the rescue!  Hey, Joe, step it up, bust through this line, and we’ll double your pay!  Do you think that would work?  I bet it would.  There are so many jobs that are like this.

When I was in college I worked at a movie theater. For about 45 minutes before a show started you worked your butt off! Then, you got a nice one hour and forty-five minute ‘break’ where you prepped for the next rush.  Do you know how many people skip the popcorn line at the movies because they don’t want to wait in that long line!?  A lot.  And it’s basically all margin! If you doubled the kids salary shoveling popcorn for those 45 minutes, you would probably get a lot of extra effort.

We get stuck in our ways.  We don’t do something like Surge Pay because we feel ‘it all works out in the end’.  We’ll just take the amount they should be paid and spread it out over 40 hours.  It all works out, Tim, relax!  But it doesn’t.  People in these types of jobs get use to working one speed, and it’s not on ‘high’, so productivity during rushes gets hurt.

It’s really an easy concept.  Find the hard, crappy part of jobs.  The ones you have a hard time feeling with productive workers, and do surge pay for those times you most need it.  Can’t find anyone to cover the Saturday evening shift, it’s now on surge pay! Who wants to make twice or triple what they normally do to work Saturday night!? You’ll find some folks for sure!

I know, I know, you call this ‘shift premium’, but guess what your 10% shift premium isn’t working! You want your second and third shift to be as good as first.  Surge pay is your answer!  You want to Timmy to sell more popcorn. Hello, Surge Pay!

Who knew Uber could solve your compensation issues!


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