Inspire Employees to Care About Customers and Profits

by Carolyn B. Thompson

Carolyn B. Thompson Reprint Rights
Training Systems, Inc. 2622 Words
12 Landscape Lane
Camdenton MO 65020

Inspire Employees to Care About Customers and Profits
by: Carolyn B. Thompson & Rhonda Leto

Many of the mistakes or oversights made by your employees that hurt customers or profits are things you'd never do because they'd directly affect your wallet. Likewise, you'd go the extra mile because you'd see a direct affect - let's create the same incentive for employees! Monetary compensation for a job well done is just as rewarding as an exciting environment to work in. As much as an individual needs non-monetary motivation, they also need monetary incentives. When you effectively blend these two together, you have employees who will stay loyal and therefore provide better customer service which leads to a highly successful business. In order for monetary incentives to be effective, you have to focus on two key elements: individual efforts and team accomplishments. You must establish guidelines that eliminate direct competition among employees. You don't want your employees to have a cut-throat mentality. Individual efforts must be encouraged and recognized as to create a better team player. A team's success depends on the cumulative efforts of all those on the team. Offer a policy that offers incentives for individual efforts as well as rewards for team accomplishments. Try some "non-sales" oriented guidelines for individual incentives for performance in areas like:

1. Timeliness
2. Appearance
3. Cleanliness
4. Attitude
5. Helping others

Many companies only focus on punishment when these areas are below expected performance. Motivate with rewards for following and improving the above areas beyond expectations. By focusing on individual efforts, the whole team should get to where it's going faster.

Example: a car has four wheels. If all the wheels are properly inflated and maintained the car gets to where it's going more efficiently, saving time and money. Team rewards revolve around individual efforts. Team performance should be recognized by overall customer satisfaction which leads to measurable sales increases and cost cuts, thus promoting higher profit margins for the entire company.

Define teams according to job description, and encourage open communication between teams. Here's an example: Team 1 feels that it needs a faster response from Team 2. Team 2 agrees and offers that they could give Team 1 more of what they need, and in return Team 2 would let Team 1 know how they could help Team 2. This creates a win-win situation for all. A teams' direct sales impact can be more easily measured and rewarded monetarily versus individual sales in many situations. When everyone knows the whole team will be compensated evenly, you eliminate negative actions that create a cut-throat environment. The obvious goal in a team effort is to make that team's area in the business more efficient and productive, thus creating more profits to reward employees. All teams operate toward the goal of satisfying the customers. Employees will care as much as you do about customer's needs and profits if you allow them to share in the monetary incentives as you do!  


Carolyn B. Thompson is the President of Training Systems, Inc., a customized training and HR consulting company that helps small and medium sized organizations enhance their ability to recruit, inspire and retain quality employees and improve performance through training. Training Systems, Inc. also provides training design and delivery services to training companies and the training departments of large companies, and professional and trade associations. Carolyn B. Thompson is an experienced trainer and consultant knowledgeable in the challenging area of employee recruitment, inspiration and retention. She is an exciting, inspirational trainer who leads people to learn. She has written articles for prominent magazines, has been interviewed for Chicago's TV Channel 26, the "You're Hired" radio show, Safety & Health, Small Business Computing, Business Week, Working Woman, Redbook and Inc. magazines, been the subject of articles  in the Daily Southtown and Star newspapers, as well as written chapters in several books. Most recently, Carolyn produced a two-tape audio cassette set entitled "Straight Talk for Employers" , has written a book entitled "Creating Highly Interactive Training Quickly and Effectively" and is writing a book about on-the-job training for Crisp Publications.

Rhonda Leto is Co-Owner of World's End Brewing Company.\

Training Systems, Inc. 1999


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