Getting people interested and engaged in their own work may seem like something that personnel should handle on their own. In reality, employee engagement is largely the responsibility of their managers. If leaders aren't creating an environment that personnel appreciate and feel proud of, they'll take no ownership of their work and make no connection with their employers, making them less likely to remain with a single organization for long. Businesses with talented sales professionals should be most mindful of these risks and plan incentive compensation management accordingly.

Isolating compensation and retention trends
A study conducted by HR+ Survey showed that turnover at clinical research organizations (CRO) is far higher than it should be. The CRO Industry Global Compensation and Turnover Survey looked at retention rates for businesses around the world to try and identify the issues that are most preventing organizations from retaining their top talent. While the survey revealed that a number of reasons are to blame for turnover rates, a surprising lack of firms share the foresight essential to maintaining top performers, seeming to lose sight of employee engagement past the sales onboarding process.

The results of the HR+ study showed that less than 30 percent of firms around the world are concerned with offering ongoing incentive compensation past the onboarding process. During initial signing and training, nearly two-thirds of these organizations indicated that they provide personnel with financial and other bonuses to encourage good work, yet once this introduction ends, there's no maintained interest in employee retention. Especially in the CRO industry, which showed lower average annual income than similar professions, offering some sort of bonus to personnel could make all the difference in retaining top talent, the study results reflected.

Complexity in staff retention
Money isn't a definite solution for solving these problems, either. Business 2 Community reported that a Salesforce survey showed that more than half of all professionals won't stay with a company longer than five years unless some other form of incentive compensation is provided. With more than one-third of survey respondents stating that they feel unappreciated at their jobs, working out new methods for recognizing and encouraging long term relationships with a company should be a primary focus of sales coaching and leadership programs.

Offering financial incentives is still a major selling point of any engagement program, Business 2 Community warned. Doing away with these options entirely isn't a viable solution. Instead, offering a mixed set of compensation and acknowledgment tools can make for the most impact and best retention.