How to encourage average workers to go beyond the bare minimum

Push average workers to do more than the minimum with incentives

By Brian Thompson,

When thinking about your most valued workers, star performers who consistently beat sales quotas and rake in more revenue for the company usually come to mind. However, while managers might focus on rewarding these workers, they should consider what it takes to turn average workers into top staff and push them to continue to make an all-star workforce.

An average worker might do the minimum expected of them, whether they are quotas or the number of calls. There are gaps in productivity that could lead to lower sales opportunities and decreased profits. Often the reason behind this is not having the motivation or incentive to do better. An average work ethic will usually produce an average business outcome or worse - result in falling short of performance expectations. Sometimes workers are not engaged with their job or feel they are not appreciated for the work they do.

Linking performance and business outcomes
To ensure workers are doing more than the bare minimum, managers should consider what kind of incentives will encourage these employees to become more than average. 

Patty Azzor orarello, CEO of consulting company Azzarello Group, wrote in TLNT that workers should consider how their work is linked to a business outcome in order to add value to the company. To optimize productivity and ensure goals are met, Azzarello suggested workers consider how they can add value to what they are doing at work by determining what is important in driving the business toward success.

In sales, this could mean making sure staff understand the performance objectives companies have and the key channels to reach out to leads. However, this is still a significant challenge for firms as a survey by management and consulting firm Accenture indicated executives often are unsure how they will meet their goals. 

"Although sales and marketing integration has been an ongoing topic of conversation, the recognition that sales and service must be better integrated is a newer trend among sales leaders," the Accenture report said. "Lack of alignment can inhibit growth and create missed sales opportunities."

To go from an average worker to an outstanding one, it is clear employees need to improve their connection with customers through meaningful conversations and keeping in contact. In meeting these goals, companies should help their employees link their work with business outcomes by establishing an incentive program to reward workers when they achieve their goals.

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Brian Thompson