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Fourth Quarter Planning and The Importance of Corporate Rewards

Aug 17, 2007
If you're like most business owners, you probably scramble to throw together a bunch of marketing plans and restructuring packages near the end of each fourth quarter.

The end result in most cases is that you start the new year behind schedule, either because your plans were poorly put together or because you simply couldn't finish them in time.

One of the easiest ways in which you can eliminate these fourth quarter planning woes is to implement some type of corporate rewards plan either in lieu of your normal restructuring package or to complement it.

Below, I've included five suggestions for different packages you could create:

1. Give cash rewards packages to your employees. If employees must meet quotas or are directly selling to customers, you can implement rewards packages in the form of bonuses that are scaled to match the intensity of their efforts and/or results.

These simple rewards packages can often be more effective than implementing a system that increases productivity.

2. Re-incentivize good work with a good corporate rewards structure. For instance, if an employee makes 25-49 sales in a week, give him/her $A in pay per sale. If she makes 49-74 sales, give him/her $A + $B per sale. And if she makes 74+ sales, give her $A + $B + $C per sale.

This, too, will radically increase productivity by reinforcing good work. Just make sure that you do not exceed your marginal cost of production with these new changes.

3. Give perks to senior staff members. For instance, if most of your workers commute long distances, you could purchase gas cards each month for senior staffers. The longer they have been on staff, the more you increase the reward.

These minor incentive packages will make newer workers want to stick around, so they can gain the benefits of a senior position.

4. Don't only give corporate rewards to your staffers. Consider giving them to clients who consistently re-order from your business. While these gifts will make up a tiny portion of the actual transfer of funds from said firm to your own, it can still be a significant gift to the client who receives it, especially if he/she is a salesperson, rather than someone in an upper management position.

This will help to cement the relationship you have with that firm.

5. In addition to giving rewards to employees and clients, consider giving rewards packages to your customers as a new marketing plan for the upcoming year. While some businesses will give away benefits that exceed their marginal costs of production (with hope that it will generate future sales) as a loss leader, you don't necessarily have to do that.

All you have to do is find a complement to your product that you can purchase for less than your marginal producer surplus and then give it away for a limited period of time whenever customers make a purchase.

The above five suggestions are only a few of the many corporate rewards programs you could build during your fourth quarter planning this year.

Spend some time to figure out how you can best give incentives to your employees, clients, and customers with a corporate rewards program.
About the Author
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