Much have been spoken and expressed by the various parties involved in the minimum wage increase issue be it in the media or inside Papa Rich. Obviously, employees were happy with their expanded disposable income, while SME employers moan the higher cost of doing business.
Always fighting the SME’s cause, however I have to play devil’s advocate this time around as I feel that SMEs can take this opportunity to come out stronger.
With increased HR expenditure, time to focus on increased employee productivity (does not mean longer hours, just more productive). Stop gossiping about Misha Omar’s wedding dress or Mizz Nina’s bulging waistline. More pay = more work. No free lunches!
Cost of goods increased? Then time to improve your sales support / customer service & improve face-time with customers. When the inevitable price hike takes place, they will be more than willing to listen to your pleas (but bring-lah the best goren pisang to help out).
Time to make your supliers your second wife! They too like you have to deal with the similar challenges to their wage bills, and don’t want to lose your business as well.
Higher salary encourages loyalty and commitment to your company as now they are paid more and may reconsider taking out their “thank you” letter from inside the drawer.
Research shows that low wage workers spend almost all of the money each month rather than saving it as richer people do. Hence, they may end up buying more of your products/services!
And for employees, while I am all for more pay for you but pardon as this may sound harsh… time to get out of the minimum wage trap! With the ever-rising Astro fees, escalating cost of nasi lemak bungkus and smaller roti canai, the RM200 more in your pocket would not be of substantial assistance to the family’s plight.
Whether it is to pursue a higher education, improving your career soft-skills or simply finding a better paying job, time to put your future in your own hands, and become part of the under-served-that-time-forgotten middle-income group!