It is common for credit control staff to be paid part of their salary as a bonus. For staff collecting a large amount of small debts this is easy to measure and the results are generally based on hard work, than luck or any other factor.
Achieving the best results from any bonus and commission schemes should bear the following in mind:
- Bonuses motivate only if they are large enough
- Keep it fair
- Keep it simple
The above ideas come from my own personal experience. I had the unfortunate pleasure to work for UPS in the 1990’s for a short period of time. The bonus scheme was not transparent – it was decided at the start of the month by the manager without any consultation with the staff and it was impossible to achieve the targets, and therefore impossible to gain anything other than a very small bonus. Due to the unrealistic nature of the targets – targets that never been achieved historically, or even close to – motivation was always a problem within the department. Before the month even started staff were de-motivated, and not listened to by the manager. There was a high turnover of staff in the company – always an indication of a company that I don’t want to work for.
This company was my worst example, however there are many other fair and motivational policies run by other credit control departments.
Sales departments are much better at motivating their staff. One of the visual stimulus’s I used from a sales department was to have a board displaying the progress towards the targets. This helps to focus on the outcomes and it ensured that management kept the structure simple in order to be graphed.
Staff motivation has always been an issue in every credit control department I have work in. It is an area where most companies get it wrong.
Month on month results should be measured and displayed for staff especially if the results are improving.