INCENTIVIZING YOUR STAFF

By Scott Betcher
Motivating employees to continue to perform well and grow through education and training programs is a key component for a successful – and happy – business.

While internal events hosted by your business can certainly benefit staff and often be more cost-effective in terms of travel expenses, attending external programs are a must for learning new skills and being introduced to new ideas and viewpoints. Even though it may be hard for an entire team to attend an outside event, it’s easy to multiple the value of one person attending the event by making sure they share what they’ve learned with the larger team.

Headquartered in Toronto, the team at Centennial Optical sees value in sending team members to attend larger industry education events and is currently implementing a sales incentive program that gives its sales representatives a chance to earn their way to attend the annual Transitions Academy event.

“It’s a pretty simple program that allows us to give our sales team an exciting opportunity to broaden their experiences and earn an extra perk,” said Mike Jones, director of sales, Centennial Optical. “We make every member of our team aware of the program at the beginning of the year and then at the end of September we offer the reward to the top two sales territories that have seen the highest growth with Transitions lens products that year.”

Centennial has been offering this incentive for a few years and the winning sales representatives receive an all-expenses-paid trip to Orlando, Fla., where Transitions Academy takes place.

“We offer this incentive for a few reasons. The first is that we believe in the Transitions brand and feel that it’s easy for our staff to get behind the program. The second is that it’s a way for staff to earn positive recognition for their performance from not only the management but also from their peers. Lastly, while we believe Transitions Academy offers valuable education for attendees, the event also takes place in sunny Florida. Let’s just say the trip overall is viewed by our team as a welcome respite when it’s the middle of the winter season,” added Jones.

Incentivizing staff with rewards that relate to personal and professional growth help to demonstrate that your business places a high value on education. A program like this also shows that your business is willing to invest in employee education and their well-being.

By setting expectations early on, you can also require them to share what they learned at the event with the larger team, with a smaller seminar or training session. This aspect also tells your employees that you trust them to return with ideas and content and would like them to contribute to more company-wide decisions and planning. They will be your eyes and ears at the conference, so it’s a good idea to make sure they share what they’ve learned.

Do you think your sales team may be looking for an idea to get their customers excited about growing their businesses with Transitions lenses? Try introducing them to the Transitions Awards program, which honors industry partners, including independent laboratories, eye care practices, professionals and retailers, who actively support the Transitions brand and demonstrate a commitment to enhancing the vision of their customers and communities. Your lab can even be considered for the Transitions Lab of the Year Award, which is now in its 23rd year.

Up to three finalists in each category will be honored during the 2014 Transitions Academy. All finalists will receive valuable prizes, including the opportunity to attend the 2014 Transitions Academy, funds for an employee celebration and marketing and public relations support. I encourage you to speak with your Transitions representative to learn more.

Scott Betcher is the associate director, U.S. ECP sales, at Transitions Optical.

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May/June LabTalk 2017