One of the most important elements of your marketing mix are your staff. Shrewd businesses recognise that motivating and incentivising both internally to staff and externally to customers are equally important.
On the surface motivating staff and customers is simple, offer a bar of gold and you’ll get a great response, offer them a free dose of flu and you’ll get the opposite result.
With a climate of sustained employment there is an increasing pressure for businesses to find and retain valuable staff. Savvy businesses are integrating internal incentive programs to ensure they keep their best marketing tool, their staff.
Incentivising staff is not a new idea by any means, performance bonuses and commissions have always been used in the sales dept. however, it’s not just the sales force that needs rewarding. There is an increasing need to measure more than just sales.
The popular perception of what is the ultimate incentive and motivational tool is changing. A recent study by Gallup showed that in spite of the huge amount of monetary rewards in the workplace 69% of workers surveyed said that non-monetary forms of recognition provide the best motivation.
Skills shortages and higher wages mean cash is no longer king in motivating staff. Other factors such as job security, medical cover, good working environment, training and qualifications, and proper recognition of their contribution are key in keeping good staff.
So why are your staff important to your marketing? Every member of staff is responsible for pushing your product or service into the market place. Your sales team are at the front end but it is a team effort, as customer service after the sale, payment processing and every contact your customers have with your company. For example KPMG reported last year a saving of between $3 and $5 million in staff turnover as a result of the ‘People First program’.
By building your brand within your business you will deliver the quality of service your external marketing promises. Research at Northwestern University showed a direct link between employee satisfaction, customer satisfaction and company profitability, even when the employees didn’t have direct customer contact.
In a localised regional market like the Northern Rivers your staff play an even more influential part of your marketing, as they will promote your business through word of mouth. You cannot put a price on that kind of marketing, it is the most powerful
in the world.