There's more to making people want to work hard besides just offering them more money. The intricacies of the human mind are as complex as the financial systems that keep companies going, and as sales and marketing professionals know, both people and markets are about as mercurial and difficult to predict as systems come.

So how do leaders ensure that their staff are happy with their jobs, interested in working harder and engaged in sales incentive compensation plans? The key lies in keeping communication lines open and business operations transparent. By conducting business in ways that promote responsibility, trust and new opportunities, leaders can ensure that they're making choices that benefit corporations financially and promote positive workforce outcomes.

Gaging success
The first thing bosses and executives need to look for when gaging the acceptance and success of incentive compensation plans is how happy employees are in their current job settings. This is never as simple as just asking people if they're satisfied – it requires paying attention to social media, creating more organic relationships and providing multiple opportunities for personnel to open up about their working conditions.

The imbalance in sentiments and retail success is most poignant in the fast food industry, as The Huffington Post highlighted recently. With wage disparity in this sector at an all-time high, corporate leadership needs to do more than offer minimal, one-time bonuses or promises of wage increases. There needs to be rapid action to enhance what opportunities personnel have and offer them even more incentive compensation that shows they're worth more than a paycheck.

Some of the leading options include:

  • Making more balanced wage adjustments
  • Offering training and career opportunities
  • Improving working conditions
  • Providing more transparency and disclosure
  • Creating better pension and retirement options

All of these sales incentive compensation ideas not only generate better engagement in target workforce, they also provide significant return on investment by increasing retention and promoting positive public image. Happier employees also are more likely to present a positive demeanor to shoppers, further bolstering the idea that corporations care for and employ satisfied personnel.

Targeting opportunities
There are those organizations that still focus on present financial conditions and worry that they can't afford to invest in workforce in any kind of meaningful way. At present, these corporations may be strapped for cash or struggling to retain target consumer audiences. However, the very things that may be sabotaging sales success could be the way the organization and its employees are viewed in the first place. If consumers aren't completely confident in a company, it's likely they'll buy and invest elsewhere. This makes promoting superior sales incentive compensation strategies even more vital to long-term enterprise wellbeing.

According to CNBC, this focus on the future is what helps leading organizations provide ongoing client confidence and generate superior returns on a regular basis. Being involved and forward-thinking regarding workforce progression and succession shows that a firm is able to think more than a few steps ahead and has clients' best interests in mind.

With that in mind, it's almost shocking that less than 10 percent of wealth management organizations invest in these kinds of plans. As CNBC stated, the need for actionable resources and contingency options is the best way to promote continuity and sales success, even if markets crash and investments turn sour.

The backbone of these operations and the people making these retention strategies work are the personnel and customer-facing representatives a firm employs. That makes these human capital initiatives a vital part of enterprise success, thereby promoting sales incentive compensation to a place of superior importance in terms of corporate spending, strategizing and overall implementation.