Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Cash Compensation as Performance Motivator | Mark Zokle

Mark Zokle
Performance incentives are an exceptional way to promote friendly competition between employees, says Mark Zokle. In light of recent revelations at Wells Fargo, however, the sales and management expert discusses a more appropriate way to reward employees for a job well done.

Q: Why did Wells Fargo’s incentive program motivate greater than 5,000 employees to open fraudulent accounts?

Mark Zokle: Wells Fargo then-CEO John Stumph set unrealistic goals for his lowest paid employees barely making enough base salary to feed their families. In this case, employees were pressured to open eight new accounts each day – and those who fell short were forced to work on their days off. Stumph was informed of the problem more than a decade ago, when he first took office. His failure to proactively adjust company policies directly led to his downfall.

Q: In your opinion, should a company offer performance incentives to employees?

Mark Zokle: Absolutely, providing the program is structured in a way that does not punish those who are unable to meet goals. I feel like an incentive should be a reward that encourages positive behavior, not something that instills fear in people already struggling to make ends meet.

Q: Is money the best motivator?

Mark Zokle: Surprisingly, not always. Different employees respond to rewards in different ways. Some strive for public recognition; others for a more prominent position. Money tends to be less of a motivator as salaries climb, however, a competitive wage is vital before any incentive program is really effective.

Q: How do a company’s values play a part in the behavior of its employees?

Mark Zokle: When a company clearly defines its goals and values, and really puts them in the core of its daily operations, it shines through in its employees. However, in my opinion, policies that rarely see follow-through leave employees apathetic toward their workplace…and their customers.