Thursday, June 14, 2018

Gig economy/ Employers disclose commission structure

Nov. 17, 2017 "Finding stability with a new approach to the gig economy": Today I found this article by Eileen Chadnick in the Globe and Mail:

EILEEN CHADNICK Principal of Big Cheese Coaching in Toronto and author of Ease: Manage Overwhelm in Times of Crazy Busy

People of all ages and experience are expressing some anxiety around the new way of work, which is increasingly contract- and gig-oriented.

Surprisingly, many within the millennial generation are voicing this concern, wanting to settle into something more secure. They want a fulltime, long-term job with benefits, growth potential/vertical-promotion possibilities … in other words, some of what their boomer parents had in their careers.

Uh oh – those times have changed. Welcome to the gig economy. Get a gig, then another, and another …

Stability and security are reasonable wants but today’s career landscape is increasingly different from that which the boomer generation navigated.

Increasingly, organizations are shifting to what can be described as an “agile work force.”

More contract and freelance hiring, which lends itself to a more dynamic and flexible work force serving “just-in-time” needs and evolving requirements. While “FTE” (full-time equivalent) roles still have a significant place in our career landscape, it’s a good idea to hold that notion of “permanent” lightly these days.

But all this doesn’t mean we have to completely forego the notion of career security. We just need a new approach and mindset about career security for today’s realities.

Stay nimble; be quick

Much of your career security will depend on how quickly you can adapt – either within your current role or on to another. The pace of change continues to accelerate. Those who can learn to roll with this will find themselves more secure in their job prospects and within their emotional well-being.

Know your superpowers

According to a LinkedIn @Work study, Canadians are known to be modest. This is not an asset.

The gig economy will insist you get to know yourself better, because you will need to sell yourself again and again. Knowing your skills, accomplishments and superpowers will give you confidence (valuable in itself), and help you get your next gig as you continuously freshen up your career narrative.

Leave nothing on the table

A new gig can provide a new opportunity to expand your career potential by learning new skills, meeting new people (for career-long networking) and conquering new challenges.

Even if a gig isn’t ideal, you might still find something of value in the experience. With the perspective that nothing is wasted, then every experience can serve a purpose. Optimize, maximize and make sure every gig matters in some way.

Be open to lateral moves

If you think the only way to grow is via vertical ascent, think again. Lateral moves can be expansive, too. Don’t get too stuck on titles; many people have built robust careers with some side steps and zig-zag moves.

Build – don’t burn – bridges

In a gig economy, you will meet a lot more people in your career. You will also end/leave jobs more often. Build bridges wherever you go and continue to nurture a healthy network.

And never burn a bridge when leaving or completing a contract, even if it was a toxic experience. You never know who you will meet in your next gig and/or need a reference from.

Build your inner-game resilience

A gig career has many benefits – but no question, it can also be stressful. Learn to manage anxiety when in times of uncertainty.

Your mental, emotional and physical well-being will be a significant factor to your success.

Money matters

With less certainty and potentially more income interruptions, the gig economy can present new financial realities. Spend within your means and save more for those rainy days. Get advice from a financial planning professional who understands and can advise in this new paradigm.

The gig economy presents new challenges (and opportunities) for all of us but with the right moves you can create more security in your “career-ability.”

Stay focused and do your best work wherever you go. Build healthy networks. Concurrently, keep your eyes open and on the horizon and always be career-ready for your next move.

Jan. 1, 2018 "Are employers obligated to disclose their commission structure to employees?": Today I found this article in the Globe and Mail:


As an inside sales rep, my husband's compensation is salary plus commission.

A monthly report summarizes sales and targets for all the staff but leaves out the formula for how the commission is calculated for the inside and outside reps.

When he asked for clarification and transparency, his manager told him not to worry about it, basically refusing to provide the information.

Is there any legislation that compels employers to share commission calculations with employees?


Daniel Lublin

Partner at Whitten & Lublin Employment Lawyers, Toronto

Each province has legislation that addresses employment standards, which are designed to protect employees.

In Ontario, employers are required to provide a pay statement for each paycheque that explains the wage rate, how the paycheque was calculated and the amount and purpose of any deductions from wages.

In British Columbia, when an employee is paid commissions, employers have to provide a pay statement explaining how commissions are calculated for work the employee is paid for.

In Alberta, an employer must keep records of all wages and upon request of an employee, the employer must provide a detailed statement explaining the employee's earnings and how they were calculated.

Employers who violate employment standards legislation can be subject to penalties and fines that vary among the different jurisdictions.

The bottom line: Your husband should be provided with a wage statement that explains his commissions.


Doug Ewen

Certified Human Resources Executive, Midland, Ont.

Although the company may have reasons for not disclosing the commission structure, it can be frustrating and demotivating for those affected, particularly if commission makes up a significant portion of their compensation.

From a company standpoint, the manager is wrong for simply saying don't worry, without explanation. The company and the manager are missing a tremendous opportunity to direct sales, motivate the team and earn credibility.

If your husband likes his job, then he should continue to request an answer in a professional manner. However, don't just go in with the problem – go in with some suggestions. He needs to provide compelling benefits for the company to formalize and disclose the information. Before his next discussion, quantify those benefits, including emphasis on key products, reduced stress on the sales team as a result of uncertainty and better focus on customer needs, among others.

His goal in this situation is simply to get an answer. Either he convinces the company to create and disclose a formal commission structure or he gets an explanation as to why they cannot or will not set the structure. The key on his part is preparation. He is a sales professional; use that skill to make his case for an answer.

Once he gets his answer (whether it's yes, no, or no with an explanation) he then needs to decide if he can work with it. If he can, carry on and drop it. If he cannot, then he needs to move on to a job with more earnings clarity.

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