The piece-rate pay system followed from sharing the per acre revenues of clear-cut slashing equally after agreed upon costs/receipts. Unique to treeplanting was the simple measurability of each persons’ relative contribution. The daily number of trees planted gave an instant continuous learning and productivity improvement feedback. Planter totals were reconciled daily with the trees issued through the boxes, and confirmed trees per block. Daily personal tallies stimulated peer pressure and cooperative learning. It allowed crew input into everything that effected production, because it provided daily data. A simple crew productivity comparison of differing diets, and techniques supported creative planter input into all aspects of the operations that enhanced their earnings. It created a dynamic relationship in which the contractor did not do well unless the crew did well and also set the stage for renegotiations with the client of really difficult ground. Finding the dynamic balance between the piece-rate pay for planting and the cooperation in all other aspects of camp and crew organization became a constant crew debate through the seventies—a dynamic that facilitated continuous improvement, because if it improved individual earnings, it improved contractors earnings too.
Piece rate pay system