A Valuable Contribution

How many times have you heard a company boss say that staff are their number one asset? Delivering on that takes a comprehensive reward and recognition programme, says Gordon Glenister.

Last time we explored the challenges facing companies in recruiting new staff. This month, we explore the area of reward and recognition.

It would appear that in most instances junior sales staff are paid between £18-25k dependent on experience, and more experienced sales performers, allowing for commission, £35-50k. The very top performers can earn above this. Many sales people can receive commission linked to achieving gross profit and sales targets. Sometimes this will be based on the overall team/company performance.

Some of the larger distributors will reward their staff more, however often those are linked to bigger sales targets.Those that have lower salaries are often in more remote locations, but focus their retention strategies on looking after their teams in all sorts of different ways. Some of the range of benefits offered to staff are shown in the box opposite.

A recent survey by Capita employee benefits suggested that 44% of employees know someone who has left work through stress. Benefits are not a replacement for a culture that takes account of the wellbeing of staff, but rather an important element of looking after your people.

Companies that create the right culture and values will instil more employee loyalty than those that don’t. I have seen instances within member companies of whiteboards showing motivational quotes, key values, sales progress, employee of the month, or lead tables all of which can be very successful.

Some companies taking on new starters will link a requirement to pass the BPMA qualification or other relevant qualifications to achieving a successful probationary period. Rewards and pay salary increases are often linked to a successful appraisal and are not necessarily across the board. Employees that have a clearly defined career path are more likely to stay happy.

Most of us want to feel pride in our work, and to be acknowledged for doing a good job. Some companies create their own mini awards for employees often around a year end performance. One supplier boss said they regularly share customer testimonials or special jobs they’ve done on the internal company newsletter, intranet or noticeboard.

One distributor summed up their approach. “I am very proud of my staff and their professional attitude. Happy staff = happy suppliers = happy customers.” Long may that ethos continue.

Popular staff benefits

  • Company car (for field based sales staff)
  • Flexible benefit programme
  • Free training, such as funding for the BPMA programme
  • Free uniform
  • Jobshare
  • Use of canteen/reduced costs rather than coffee machines
  • Chill out/games areas
  • Sabbaticals –for extended service e.g. 10 years (one month unpaid leave)
  • Flexible hours to suit family needs (on request)
  • Contributory pension
  • Extra days holiday for extended service
  • Perkbox
  • Box at music venue as staff incentives
  • Bonus ‘days off’ for their holiday
  • Interest free loans (particularly relevant for season tickets)
  • Team trips to celebrate anniversaries
  • Christmas party (funded)
  • Early 15 min start every day, but leave at 4pm every Friday
  • Quarterly team nights out if targets met
  • Themed engaging events, such as Promotional Products Week, Comic Relief, Ice Bucket challenge.


© Copyright 2018 The BPMA | All rights reserved.