Money is not everything.


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Anyone who has seen the news recently will know that the BBC has been seriously embarrassed after having to publicly disclose how much it pays its top executives and employees. The embarrassment was caused by the great discrepancy between men and women on its payroll, despite the enactment of equal pay legislation some 20 years ago. The general publicity focused attention not only on a gender pay-gap, but also on the high level of executive pay in some quarters in comparison to average earners.

Employees are at the centre of every business which cannot function without them. They have the essential knowledge of the customers, the product or service, and the business process. Companies rely on their employees to understand their customer’s requirements and to deliver the product which produces the income. Thus retaining and motivating the employees on which the business relies is of major importance. Retaining and rewarding good employees is cheaper than recruiting and training new ones who will still lack the essential knowledge of the customers and the business.

Commercial managers have the responsibility of producing and maximising profitable income for the long term future of the business, by anticipating and satisfying customer demands, but to achieve this, they rely on their employees. To grow and maintain a successful business, the commercial manager must ensure that the morale and motivation of the workforce is maintained.

Crucial to the morale and motivation of employees is the relationship they have with the company and its management. Enthusiastic and committed employees make successful businesses. It is well known that people who are happy in their work in which they take a pride, are more productive and committed in their contribution than those who are only there for the money.

Ideally, jobs should be evaluated on their contribution and importance to the organisation and paid accordingly. Employees should be paid for the job they do, the responsibilities they carry and the necessary experience they have. Regardless of their gender; men or women doing the same job should get the same pay. Individuals may get differential increments based on their relevant qualifications and experience, while bonuses should be paid at an agreed rate related to performance. However, while pay is important, it is not the sole motivator. Through leadership and good management, commercial managers need to create the conditions where employees feel that they can contribute to their maximum potential

In order to develop and maintain the moral and motivation of all those employees engaged in anticipating and satisfying customer requirements, a commercial manager should:

* Ensure that each employee has a job description that states their responsibilities, and their reporting chain,
* Take time regularly to speak to employees at their work stations, listening to understand their opinions, concerns and suggestions. If they have problems, offer assistance.
* Be approachable and let employees know that they can talk to you in confidence whenever they need to.
* Give employees the authority to make their own decisions, such as providing service for a client up to a certain point without needing to get prior approval
* Regard mistakes as learning opportunities.
* Treat all employees with the importance and the respect that they deserve.
* Give employees more of a say in how they do their job. Ask for their input and get suggestions on how they can improve their performance. Use regular employee reviews to discuss these improvements, and be prepared to take their advice and implement it.
* Offering training that gives employees the skills they need to climb their career ladder. Grooming young employees to move on to better opportunities also develops a company’s reputation as a good place to work.

* By recognising good work, giving praise where it is due, and rewarding success, staff will know that their contributions are valued and that management is confident in their capabilities, helping to inspire greater creativity and initiative.

The best assets that a commercial manager has to produce the necessary profitable income are well, trained, committed, creative and enthusiastic employees. Developing and maintaining the motivation of those employees on which the business relies should always be of particular importance to every commercial manager.

Nicholas Watkis, AE MA DipM CMC FCIM
Nicholas Watkis set up Contract Marketing Service in 1981, providing professional interim marketing management for a wide variety of businesses. Over 30 years practical experience in organizations, large and small, national and international, led to the development of Business Performance Maximized specialist in marketing performance measurement.


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