Exploring the origins, ethics and future of changemaking

Posts Tagged ‘incentives’

Pay it forward – searching for a more ethical incentive

In Ethics on July 12, 2012 at 10:16 am

In the business world it is a fairly common tactic to use bonuses, commissions and other rewards to incentivise performance and retention amongst employees. Is it possible to create a more powerful incentive however, where the employee who does the work receives nothing personally? In addition, could it be possible to create an incentive where the individual receives nothing, but generates good will amongst others?

A few years ago I worked with the business development team at a well known Australian charity. It was at an important stage in the organisation’s growth. They had a proven product and a good understanding of their market. The challenge was simply one of increasing volume, filling up business in quiet periods and making the whole operation more profitable. Sounds simple doesn’t it.

The organisation was highly effective at retaining existing clients, with over 75% having been with them for over 15 years. Each year there was a small attrition of clients, and a modest acquisition of new clients. To meet the organisations growth, profitability and sustainability targets, new sales needed to ramp up significantly. The team had participated in training, implemented new sales tracking tools and managed its contacts more closely. The organisation also invested in innovating new programs and services to take to market. Aside from the new style programs, none of these made a significant difference to increasing sales.

The Executive Team considered whether the organisation needed to implement an incentive scheme for its sales staff. Prior to this, business development staff were salaried and conducted sales alongside client management. There were no specialist sales people in this team – each person had Read the rest of this entry »

Advertisements