A few weeks ago, Geisinger Health System made headlines by announcing it was raising its internal minimum wage to $10/hour. While I certainly applaud this move, I was shocked to learn that Geisinger (which is by far the most expensive provider of health services in the Wyoming Valley area) had been paying some of its full-time employees as little as the federal minimum wage of $7.25/hour.
Apparently its newsworthy in 2015 when a rich, powerful employer decides its employees should actually be able to cover their rent and food bills.
At GWC, we have long believed that our employees should earn fair pay for a fair day’s work. Accordingly, our minimum wage for an entry level position is currently $11.00/hour and is on the way up. And in our pay-for-performance culture we elevate starting pay very quickly as the person learns the position and begins adding even more value. It’s not uncommon for new team members to be earning $15+/hour within a few years of starting with us. (And we’re not alone: Our sister company, EasyCare, which resides in suburban Atlanta, starts its entry level employees at $14.50/hour as Larry Dorfman and the rest of the leadership there share GWC’s values when it comes to its team.)
No, this is not Socialism, it’s enlightened Capitalism. Fairly paid workers are more engaged, loyal and committed when they don’t have to work two or three jobs just to make ends meet. We don’t believe that our employees are “tools of production” to be obtained at the lowest possible cost. Rather, we know that our talented employees across the organization are the secret sauce that makes us distinctive, allows us to deliver best-in-class customer service and forms the foundation of our exceptional growth.
GWC employees give their all because they know that in our true pay-for-performance culture those efforts will be rewarded. And that’s how it should be in every company, especially in large, wealthy ones like Geisinger. I hope others will follow our lead.