Paying Employees for What You Want Them to Do

Paying Employees for What You Want Them to Do

If you own or manage a company, even a small one, you need to be concerned about efficiency. Efficient, well-run companies win. For most, it starts with the quality and productivity of employees. While it can be easy to associate better pay with better productivity, that is not always the case. Generally speaking, employees will focus on tasks that earn them the most money. Here are some ideas on how you can pay employees for what you want them to do.

Sales Representatives

Do you have sales people who are bad at filling out paperwork? You have two choices. One is to hire someone to take care of the paperwork for them so they can sell more. The other is to incentify timely and accurately filled out paperwork with a cash bonus.

A Receptionist

What is important for your company receptionist to do on a daily basis? Is it to answer the phone prior to three rings? Is it important to get unsolicited compliments about them? Maybe it is that messages are accurately and timely communicated. Staff surveys could rate the receptionist in key areas each month. The higher the score, the larger the incentive.

Delivery People

Delivery personnel are charged with getting products to people in new condition. Incentives should encourage timely deliveries of products that arrive in perfect condition.


The goal of management is not to manipulate or coerce staff, but to encourage them to pull in the right direction. This is important in setting goals for your management team. You may consider a bonus for the longevity of productive staff members.

Many companies pay employees based on an hourly wage, weekly salary, commission, or combination. Consider adding bonuses for specific behaviors you want your staff to display. You may be surprised at the impact even smaller incentives have on molding staff behavior to get them to do more of what you want them to focus on.

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