Professional Jeweler Archive: Strokes for the Backroom Folks

March 2001

Managing/Your People


Strokes for the Backroom Folks

Don't forget support staff when it comes to rewards and incentives


Sales associates get all of the glory in retailing – and most of the financial rewards – and for a very good reason: Success in sales determines whether a company thrives.

But non-sales employees also have a critical impact on customer satisfaction. They complete, package and ship customer orders, often on tight deadlines and with special demands.

And the more successful the sales associates, the harder non-sales staff have to work, even though they often don’t get any additional rewards.

What to Do?

An incentive program that involves sales and support staff can help build commitment and reduce costly errors among non-sales staff, says Sales & Marketing Management magazine. Managers might reward bench workers for referring customers, for example. Or non-sales staff might share in a percentage of company profits.

To create an incentive to make fewer mistakes in shipments, Oakley Millworks, Frankfort, IL, offered each employee an additional $10 per day for each day they went without an error in a shipment. Ultimately, this became too expensive, so Oakley offered to take the entire staff to Hawaii if the company went a year without an error. They went.

– Mark E. Dixon


Copyright © 2001 by Bond Communications