Posted by & filed under Blog, Motivating.

Are you interested in motivating your workforce?!?

Do you currently pay people commission???

This short animation (based on Dan Pink’s TED Talk) will make you think differently about how you motivate your people…

He pulls together some fascinating studies that show that higher rewards can actually LOWER performance for more creative tasks – including sales!

Basically incentives work very effectively for simple mechanical tasks as they narrow and refine our focus. However if a task involves even rudimentary cognitive skill a larger reward actually leads to POORER performance.

Dan Pink sites 3 key motivators:

  • Autonomy

People want autonomy in their working lives. Allow people to set their own targets within the parameters of what your organisation requires. You will find that your people will be far more engaged if they are responsible for their own targets.

  • Mastery

People always want to improve their knowledge and skill set. This can ensure greater engagement in the long run. People need challenge and the promise of further development. Having a clear plan for your people’s learning and development will again increase engagement and motivation.

  • Purpose

This comes up in numerous studies relating to motivating individuals and teams. This is the concept that people need a greater purpose to be contributing to. I don’t believe this needs to be for the “greater good” of society as the term can imply. It can be related to your organisations greater mission statement, vision and goals. If the people within your business recognise that their work is contributing to a greater goal then this is a fantastic source of engagement and motivation.


Taking all this on board, having clear goals with your business as well as clear individual development plans coupled with a culture that promotes autonomy is going to be the best way to ensure you have motivated and engaged people on board.

It would also point towards a commission structure that is focused more on ACTIVITY than RESULTS.

So paying bonuses on “x” amount of calls made, or “x” amount of viewings conducted could be the way to maximise the productivity of your staff.

I personally would be worried about the “quality” of calls and viewings made in this way, but perhaps a 2 tiered commission structure where half of the bonus is from activity and the other half is from sales might work effectively?

I would love to hear if anyone has experience of this – good or bad!


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