Friday, April 3, 2009

How to Reward Your Employees by Idea Girl Consulting March 18, 2009

I was always a Top Seller when I worked as a Customer Service and Sales Person for Sitel. I would collect my weekly prize (only 5 choices) and after the first month, I wasn't too happy with getting another pen, or notepad, or mouse pad. I decided I had too many prizes and it wasn't all that important to me anymore to keep them to myself. I decided that I just wanted my name to be in the top sellers list each month.

I started my own reward program within my team. I chose the people that never got prizes. If they got 1 sale that week, I rewarded them. It wasn't always a company prize, it was chocolate easter eggs, chocolate Santas, chocolate bars, candies, suckers, or dollar store items.

It motivated my team to get the most sales each month. When I stopped my program, the sales went down. I guess it just wasn't enough to be the top group, they wanted more. Some people told me they didn't care if they got any recognition, they were there to collect the weekly pay check. There was no pride in their work, all they wanted was to do the job, with the least amount of effort, go home and come back again.

Those people didn't last long. They either left the company after a three month period, or when it came time to downsize, they were let go first. Their stats and attendances were taken into account. Now I bet they regret the lax attitude, because job performance can affect whether you get hired at the next place.

In my case, it didn't matter. My job never gave references, it only supplied a letter stating that I had been an employee. I actually had to hunt down my Managers that had left the company for greener pastures. That worked well, until everyone of them moved to a different job. I never asked for their home number, just the work number.

In the Call Center Industry there is a high turnover in workers and in Management. Each place is different and we all get tired of the same old routine, so we look for something better. Usually we will get better wages, because we have some experience under our belts.

It really shocked me when I lived in Toronto for two years. Every single Call Center wanted you to have a University Degree. I guess they figured if you had to pay back a student loan, you were more likely to stick around. The crazy thing about it was that the cost of living in Toronto is much higher than in the City of St Catharines, yet the wages were lower in Toronto.

I couldn't understand it, and the technology they used wasn't as good as it was in the Niagara Region. It was more like they only thought of setting up shop and then dealing with all the hassles of not having an automated dialer, proper networking tools and information for those on the phones. I walked in, looked around and walked back out.

After several months I was actually blessed with a high paying job, thanks to Options Personnel. I had put my Resume online at and they found me and asked me to come in for an interview. I wish I would have done things differently, from wage expectations to amount of time on the job.

I was hired as a Temp (Maternity Leave) for seven months. It was the best job in the world, I loved it and yet I didn't last long there. I worked for William Mercer and it has since changed hands and renamed itself. I was on the 21st floor of the Canada Trust Tower on Bay Street. I was in Executive land and I loved it!

The sad thing was that I did not have a College or University degree and because of this, when my temp job was up, they had to let me go.

I was told I was the only person out of 100,000 employees that didn't have a University Degree. I was impressed, and I asked , "Why did I get the job then?" I was told, because of my years of experience in the call center industry was one reason, the other was they had run out of time and applicants and I was the next best thing to walk through the door.

I will always be thankful that the Gods were smiling down on me. I got to experience what it was to be in the "big business leagues.' I worked with CEO's, Managers and Executives from hundreds of companies.

I got to talk to them on the phone about their jobs, salaries, benefits. I was doing customer service surveys with the Minister of Defence in Canada at the time, and was later told that he never would participate for years and asked me how I did it.

Simple, I asked him about the submarine he was in that day. I asked him what it was like to be in one for hours on end and did he feel alienated from the world? I was curious about it, because I would never personally be on a submarine. I was fascinated with his job, and then he asked me after we had chatted for 30 minutes why I had called ( I really completely forgot about it, I was so fascinated with his submarine and sea faring stories) that I blanked out for a minute then told him I was doing a survey about his job.

He answered my questions, and bought a survey for $4,000 when it was published. My group was rewarded with a pizza and beer party because of our high sales. I was doing in a week, what they had set as a team goal (26 people) for the month.

I wasn't aware that I was making some people look bad. I was just doing what came naturally to me. I was put in charge of the Western Canada accounts. (Several months after I left, that division of the company closed down) It seems that no one knew how to relate to the people out West. Yet I had been in charge of the Western Accounts at a few of the Call Centers I had worked for.

I was even in charge of a special survey to Jamaican's. It was just natural for me to talk to people. I did, however, get in trouble for my high talk times. I would generate the business but my gift of gab would affect my Stats. Eventually over the years, I learned to keep my conversations to under 5 minutes, make the sales required and exceed all expectations.

I come from a family of "self employed sales people." My Mother had been a Manager for several years for various companies. My Father was a Foreman at a sock factory until it closed down, then he went into business and did carpet laying and painting.

His company name was "I'm forever kicking bubbles..." It was funny (he had a tremendous sense of humor that everybody loved about him) and the company name was catchy and with over 25 years of experience under his belt, he stayed in business until his knees gave out.

My Uncles and Grandfathers, all owned their own businesses from farming, to insurance sales, and locksmiths. My Grandfather was the "First" top seller for "The Toronto Sun" or "The Toronto Star" . I'm not sure which one it was.

Most of my mentors have passed away, but their love of business has stayed with me. I intend to teach the world the lessons learned by my family, my past work experiences and the millions of business ideas that have come to mind over the past 20 years.

I decided now is the time to share them with the world. As per the movie "The Bucket List" I never want to look back over my life and say I wasted a moment, or wish I had of done something different before it is my time to leave this earth. I do want to make a difference and I do want to teach many people the valuable lessons of life.

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