Make It Simple Enough for Napkin Math
"If, using a calculator, your employees can't accurately determine how they're doing in the compensation program at any given time, or if they're unsure the calculation actually will match what's in their paychecks, you have a built-in disincentive to better agent performance," says Kislik.
Wolfe agrees, adding: "If agents don't understand how their pay is calculated, they'll be reluctant to support the program. Agents should be able to quickly run a tally to see what their score will be."
At New Pig, the database system automatically determines agents' commissions so the reps don't have to manually figure it out.
Says Wolf, "Once you've devised an agent compensation program, stick to the plan. If three months into it you encounter minor problems, don't take the knee-jerk reaction and change it wholesale. Tweak it. Otherwise you'll confuse agents.
"After all," she continues, "compensation is near and dear to employees' hearts. And you don't want to appear to be messing with that."
In summary, says Kislik, "You can't just dangle carrots in front of people and expect to get the performance you want. Rather, you must establish clear goals, and have a deep understanding of the job and what results you want to achieve. And those results have to entail something you can measure and reward. That is, you have to know exactly how agents can be successful in your organization."