Meaning Is Everything

By Malcolm Fleschner

Hiring the best people, keeping them and motivating them to achieve are three of the most challenging managerial tasks facing today’s sales organizations when creating a positive, successful work environment. To determine what does and doesn’t work to make these ambitious goals a corporate cultural reality, recently conducted a three-month study of managers and employees across the globe. As part of the study they asked respondents what their companies could do to make working there more meaningful. The responses follow.

  • Provide more perks and incentive programs: 18%
  • Increase pay: 18%
  • Improve recognition and rewards: 14%
  • Improve communications: 14%
  • Offer empowerment/creative freedom with the job: 14%
  • Won’t change mind once I’ve decided to leave: 10%
  • Present more interesting/meaningful work: 8%
  • Give promotions and better career paths: 6%
  • Remove a bad manager: 5%
  • Provide better products: 5%

    Surprisingly, perks and incentive programs rated just as highly as increased pay. Factor in the fact that nearly as many respondents mentioned recognition and rewards, and it becomes clear that managers who motivate employees by offering incentive programs that recognize achievement also create a workplace employees find more meaningful.

  • In addition, incentive programs offer managers the ideal platform for improving communications – another key component of a meaningful workplace identified by survey respondents. In each stage of an incentive program – planning, rollout, promotion, reward delivery and after-the-fact analysis – managers have the opportunity to talk to their salespeople, to gather information, provide pep talks and recognize superlative achievement.

    When analyzing the survey’s other results, the folks at GoalManager suggest that people and office culture are the top reasons employees remain at a company. People crave a sense of belonging. If their current employer doesn’t provide it, they will start looking elsewhere. Recognizing people for their contributions to the organization’s success, the survey authors add, goes a long way toward developing people who will want to continue working hard to benefit your organization over the long haul.