Commission Guys! Do you pay Hourly for employees exchanging their gear in the morning?

it normally takes my guys 15 to 30 minutes to grab the gear and for me to explain the jobs they’re going to and what needs to be done on the jobs. etc. in this time they clean out the previous day’s garbage in the truck, exchange dirty towels for clean ones along with going through their checklist to make sure they have everything they need for their jobs.

Should I be paying them hourly for this or should it be included in the commission structure?


NO! You want them to be in a rush to get out the door. They ONLY earn money while they are actually cleaning glass.

Good point! BUT my employee that’s in a rush to get out the door neglects to use his supplies checklist and will forget tools…

You get paid upon arrival to the shop in all other fields, why not window cleaning…?

His employee is on a production based commission pay plan.

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Included in the commission.

If he forgets enough times this should self correct when he realizes it affects his net hourly average. Have you pointed this out to him ? You make the same amount though. If it takes him 9 hours to do say $500.00 vs 8 hours, you still get your portion.

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the right personality for commission will understand that it’s EFFICIENCY and FORETHOUGHT not rushing that brings the pay

efficiency and forethought in a well stocked truck ahead of time based on forethought of the schedule, in methods to eliminate forgotten tools and on and on and on

the personality that is always forgetting stuff, skipping steps and systems, actually rushing or running from here to there all the time needs to be on hourly probably in a different endeavor since they may be painfully inefficient and slow in window cleaning production on hourly

guys either “get” commission or don’t, it’s a trip but that’s been my observation over the years

hourly seems to work best for multiday large team projects, like a $100,000 multi building hospital project or the highrise businesses


Loading trucks and cleaning trucks and the end of the day is all part of what is needed to complete the job. So that is included with the commission. If they forget a tool then they have to drive back to the shop and get it which is still on their time. So they should pick that up pretty quick. We put all job description in the job notes of housecall pro so I rarely am there to describe jobs to them in the morning. Usually just Monday morning when we do a weekly safety meeting will I see them. That helps speed it up in the morning as well.


@Bruce and @Deanswc bring up excellent points. Commission pay structure is not suitable for everyone. In the small commercial and residential side of this business we are really hiring “mini business owners.” They have to be good at the work, efficient, high quality, good with customers, and so on.

That’s why like @Bruce said hourly is easier for high-rise and large commercial. On that side of this business you are generally hiring “labor.” They need to be able to do the work. Efficiency still matters but not as much because may be larger room for error in large $$ contracts.

I worked on commission for a carpet cleaning company in Massachusetts. Only problem was that you couldn’t work overtime. FORTY HOUR LIMIT. If you went over state law required him to pay time and a half on your commission rate for the entire week. NO OVERTIME!!! You got guaranteed minimum wage if you had a bad week and if you were that slow a lot you’d loose your job.

good point

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If they are doing work for you then they need to be paid for the time. I would suggest doing the checklist in the evening when the are more inclined to want to end the day and will have a sense of urgency to get done. There is no urgency when reporting to work. Units should be ready at start time. Review schedule, pre - trip vehicles, safety tip on the way. If they maintain neatness during the day that will cut back pm time clean up. There is always someone ahead a few minutes earlier then everyone else on a job. Instead of being on the cell, grab the towels, sweep the floor, change the squeegee rubber, etc. Just a thought

People on commission are getting paid to clean out the van and stock the truck because At the end of the day they almost always make more than hourly people. If they don’t make more they should be let go!!! No room in the van for anybody who isn’t productive.

You are required by law to keep track your employees hours to make sure that they are getting overtime if they work over 40 hours. By law, even commission window cleaners are due overtime for hours over 40. If you’re not tracking hours you’re leaving yourself open to a lawsuit from a cleaner claiming that you don’t pay overtime.

That said, you can look at the hours your cleaners are working, including office/tool/safety training time in the morning, and see what their actual hourly rate comes out to. If your jobs are priced well, then even when you add in the office and drive time they should still be making a decent hourly rate.

cost a lot of money. I am looking for guys who have critical thinking skills, but to ask for the qualities of a “mini business owner” is asking for someone who is overqualified and will quickly find a better paying job.

Yep, I have my guys keep track of their hours, I should be having them sign off on their time sheets, but I haven’t up to this point. I do pay overtime based on the hourly wage they make from commission…

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Great way to state it @Frozone. I think we both have a similar idea. And I believe that is why it is so hard to find good people for the Small Commercial and Residential segment of this business. It is a very fine line we’re trying not to cross when looking for people. Like @Chris, I also believe this is one of the reasons why the “shelf life” of an average field technician is about 2 years. Most really good ones will start their own thing, the ones that don’t will move on to something that pays better or has better long-term opportunity. Nothing wrong with any of this. But these things need to be taken into consideration when hiring.


2 years is what I observed as well in a decade of growth

. . . . just about the time they were finally top tier productive and knew the jobs efficiently and people


@dgalkin @Bruce I’d be the happiest guy on this forum if I had employees last 2 years! That’d be incredible. What’s your guys’ turn over rate to get someone that lasts for 2 years?

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Welcome to business ownership. Lol. Much different than being self employed.

I’d have to pull a report for specifics but I know we have very little turnover. We probably get 1 out of 4 new hires stay with us 2-3 years. I can name from memory every single person we’ve hired in the past 5 years.