by Tammy Hart

As the labor market for top-quality service people continues to increase, managers are making a correlation between loyal satisfied customers and motivated people who deliver the service that keeps them coming back. The key is tapping into exactly what it is that motivates them.

With record low unemployment and a flourishing economy creating many new entry-level jobs, there is a shortage of people available to work at the entry level. This surplus of opportunities creates an environment where many people feel comfortable frequently changing jobs.

Compensation and incentive experts agree incentives can be the most powerful tools executives can use to improve worker performance and loyalty. One of many great incentives is to offer tuition reimbursement, related to an employee’s current job or desired career path. Without a doubt, giving your employees the proper training will make them better qualified to perform their job, but it can also be extremely motivating for the employee as well. Devoting time and money to professional development shows employees that management is willing to invest in their future. It conveys to an employee a sense of worth far beyond their weekly paycheck.

Statistics show that people are less likely to leave organizations where they know managers are concerned about their development. Non monetary factors play an important role in promoting loyalty. Alongside tuition reimbursement, allowing your employees to cross train in different departments within your organization can also be a valuable training technique. Doing this can give the employee a broader view of what the company functions are; which in turn helps them to understand the importance of their own position.

A customer-oriented employee is often the difference that causes consumers to choose one supplier over another. They can’t be the best without proper training. Many employees on the front line, working directly with the customer, have not been properly trained with the basic customer service skills that are imperative for them to perform their job. Some of these skills include training for the specific product they are promoting, company policies and procedures, and basic tools for resolving customer concerns.

Employee turnover also creates indirect costs including lost sales due to customer dissatisfaction, decreased quality due to errors, and reduced morale of co-workers who are responsible for training another new person. Retaining customer service-oriented employees is essential to success in today’s overly competitive marketplace where consumers have many options from which to purchase goods or services.

There are obvious expenditures involved with training employees, but the rewards are far greater than the initial investment. In the end you may have created confident employees who aren’t afraid to ask for pay increases, but you’ll be getting a value for your dollar; just as the customer will be getting a value for theirs and the employee will undoubtedly find value not only in the training they receive, but in the company who invested in them.


“Managing through incentives” by Richard McKenzie and Dwight Lee

“Customer Rapport-The Glue that builds Success” by Jack Deal

“What are non-financial rewards and why should organizations consider using them” by Craig N. Clive

“Shortcuts to Success” by Jonathan Robinson