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Employees

The average sign company employees fewer than 10 employees, most having been employed 10 years or longer, and offered generous benefits and perks. Also, maybe because so many companies are small, subcontracting appears to be on the rise.

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29. Check off the benefits you provide to staff (mark all that apply):

BENEFICIAL. Almost all of the above are a few percentage points higher than reported in the 2022 Big Survey. Financial support for education nearly doubled from last year, increasing from 10% to 18%.

 

30. Check off the perks you provide to staff (mark all that apply):

GUNS AND YOGA? “Other” responses were led by lunches, also breakfasts and regular pizza/beer parties; company outings, events, cookouts and holiday parties; use of tools and gas cards; and this: “We have two small guns and [offer] daily exercise and weekly yoga classes.” Maybe they meant “gyms…?”

 

31. How many employees work for your company?

1
11%
2-4
28%
5-9
26%
10-19
15%
20-29
7%
30-49
6%
50-99
3%
100 or more
4%

SMALL BUSINESSES. Like last year’s Big Survey, four in five respondents work with fewer than 20 employees, and nearly 40% work with four or fewer.

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32. Apart from yourself, how long has your company’s longest-serving employee been with you?

TENURE TRACK. According to the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American works for between 12 and 13 companies over the course of their career. Not so for some in the sign industry.

 

33. How many new employees has your company hired in the last 12 months?

None
32%
1 to 2
32%
2+ to 5
23%
5+ to 10
7%
10+ to 20
3%
More than 20
3%

HELP WANTED. Answering a different question, 38% of respondents feel recruiting and retaining staff is the greatest threat to the sign industry (see page 23).

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34. If you subcontract any of your signwork, what do you subcontract? (Check all that apply.)

Design
10%
Fabrication
52%
Permitting
12%
Installation
46%
Maintenance
19%
Nothing (We do not subcontract)
16%
Other (excavation and more)
19%

35. What has been your company’s three-year trend with subcontracting?

Greatly increasing
7%
Increasing
32%
No change/remaining the same
41%
Decreasing
8%
Greatly decreasing
3%
We do not subcontract anything
9%

OUTSOURCING. About two-thirds of those who reported their trend as either increasing or greatly increasing are subcontracting fabrication. 60% are increasing or greatly increasing outsourced installation.

 

36. What extra effort(s) is your company making, if any, to attract new employees?

  • Advertising on all websites, posting on social media
  • Good company culture
  • Advertising on our own digital billboards
  • Benefits added or improved
  • Flex time
  • Four-day workweek
  • Great work environment
  • Higher pay
  • Indeed job ads
  • Profit sharing
  • Referrals, related employee bonuses
  • Word of mouth
  • Working with local tech schools to hire apprentices and interns

However, 40% responded they are doing nothing and a further 8% are not hiring.

 

37. What extra effort(s) is your company making, if any, to retain good employees?

  • 401K, IRA
  • 90-day discussions
  • Advanced training with raises
  • Annual bonuses/raises
  • Improved employee communications
  • Appreciation always
  • Bonuses
  • Commissions
  • Free tickets to games shows around town
  • Company functions
  • Competitive pay and benefits
  • Cost of living adjustments
  • Extra time off
  • Flexible schedule
  • Free lunches
  • Incentives
  • Profit sharing
  • Sales commissions
  • Show appreciation, financially, verbally
  • Treat them fairly and with respect
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