I had the most interesting dinner conversation the other night and it prompted me to think about the relationship between business success and human nature.
My friend runs an offshore call center business and around 12 months ago they lost their largest client. They were not getting the required number of sales and conversions the client expected. After nearly 12 months of confusion and frustration, they have been able to completely turn this situation around and are now more profitable than ever before.
HOW DID THEY DO IT?
They worked out the secret to their business success.
Here’s the thing. The staff were being incentivised with financial rewards. The more sales they closed, the more money they made. Yet no matter how many dollars were dangled in front of them, the staff were not going out of their way to perform any better. After much investigation, and many conversations, the business finally nailed it and uncovered the holy grail.
The holy grail
What they discovered was golden! It was the underlying motivation that drove their people to perform. And surprisingly, for people who live in a poor country, it was not money. What they really wanted was … more TIME. That’s it, just more free time.
Moving fast on this newly revealed epiphany, they restructured their incentive program to give staff ½ day off after 3 sales were closed or a leave pass at any time of the day when 6 sales were locked in (even if that was at 10am). The result, overall sales went through the roof.
In devising this reward scheme the business did the numbers and worked it out so it was win win for all. An early leave pass worked to encourage their people to perform and get exceptional results. At the same time, the increase in sales produced exponential profits to the business. Interestingly, everyone now ‘gives their all’ to reach the ‘holy grail’ – 6 sales and an early leave pass – anytime, every day.
The moral to the story
I appreciate this is not a business based in Australia (although it is owned and run by Australians), nor is it dealing with financial advice. However, it is about a business that deals with people and relies on people to succeed. To their credit, they recognised they had a problem and took time out to explore how to fix it. And when they worked it out, they took action. The result – happier more motivated, productive people and a more lucrative business better positioned to satisfy their paying clients.
If you work with people, make sure you know what drives them to get out of bed each day and incorporate this into an incentive plan. You, your people and your bottom line will be pleasantly surprised!
Finally, don’t underestimate the value of time. In my experience as a coach/consultant to advice businesses, the top two most sought after rewards advisers are striving for are money and time.
On that note, I write all my blogs myself and I am not a professional writer. So if you find any spelling or grammar slip ups, they are a bonus as they were not intended to be included.
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