Bonus System – Value is not created only by sales

Bonus System

The thinkers and the speakers, the designers and the salespersons. Each one is valuable for delivering knowledge, services, and products to the final receivers. However, there is a common trend to compensate more those who have the final conversation/contact with the receiver. Our societies give more value to those who deliver than to those who design or support knowledge and other intangible or tangible goods. There is an elusive mindset that the former are the ones creating the money. But, money is generated by the products or services, and somebody has to create them first. However, those who speak last to the receiver, who allegedly bring the money in, take the big bonuses.

And why do I say allegedly? Because you cannot create value only at the last stage of the process, the last step before fulfilling a need. In your organization you need every part of the chain to do that. You need people to create the product, to market the product, and to support the product (back office) before and after the sales. You also need people to keep the business running so you can have all the others working for meeting market’s needs.

You need each person in your organization, otherwise you wouldn’t have them employed. So, there is a reason you have them, and that reason is (or should be) that they add value to your organization as a living system. Yes, it is a system and it is alive. Think of your body, what would you compensate most, your heart or your brain? Can you live without one of these? In the same way, your organization operates as a cohesive team with each member having a specific and valuable role, regardless their hierarchical position.

There are differences in salaries, indeed, but that comes with responsibility. Hierarchy usually determines payment differences, but when it comes to bonuses everybody must be accordingly considered. I have heard many complaints from people I know and have worked with, about them not getting bonuses, while salespersons are getting huge remunerations, as a percentage out of their sales, without even working as hard as others do. I think they might be right.

What I suggest is to perceive your organization as a whole, as one organism working interdependently towards one goal, to keep running. And that means to keep having customers paying for your products and your services. If you show to your people that you see them all as equal during the process, they will all raise their efforts to meet market’s needs and keep growing your organization. You must appreciate their contribution should you want them to work all together for your organizational purposes. Everyone needs an incentive to dedicate time and ideas for providing ever-developing quality products or services to your customers. In conclusion, each one in your organization creates money, otherwise you wouldn’t have them employed. Compensate them according to their efforts and overall contribution, which are values that sales statistics don’t show. Bringing money and creating money are two distinct concepts.

Money is not created only by those who bring it!

Antonis Gavalas, MSc