Give More Conventions and You Can Give Fewer Raises

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  All successful sales organizations offer a constant round of morale-boosting meetings, incentives, awards, and recognition. No matter how often salespeople are told “It isn’t personal” when they’re turned down, professional sales managers realize how psychologically draining those rejections are. It’s a never-ending struggle to keep their people up and motivated. What applies to salespeople also applies to the rest of the workforce. Everyone needs to feel appreciated. Most businesses aren’t very glamorous. Envelopes may turn me on, but to most people in the endlessly exciting envelope game, it’s just a job. If you want to goose up the morale a little bit among your idle managers, give them some unexpected recognition. For most people, bragging rights are just as important as money. Send a few key people to a convention or a seminar or two. Give it the full treatment. Call them in unexpectedly, tell them the company hasn’t had that great a year but you want to recognize their superior performance by sending them to such-and-such a school/seminar/convention. If you’re ready to give the person even more of a boost, throw in a ticket for the wife or husband. They’re to report back on what they’ve learned, of course, but make it clear you really selected them because they are just the sort of person you want representing the company, and you want to reward them for it. Then send out a memo announcing exactly what you just told them, or put it in the house organ. You’ve accomplished several things: You’ve told your people you notice and appreciate good work, and you’ve created a performance incentive without locking yourself into a costly and ever-escalating program. That, of course, is all in addition to your existing recognition and awards program.   * Excerpted from Swim With The Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive  

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