How To Move From A Rewards-based to Responsibility-based Culture

Culture is the glue of an organization. It sets and then governs the behaviors of an organization. In Direct Sales, when the culture of the sales process and the compensation plan are aligned, then a business can move forward. In this post, we will cover the steps to move from a rewards-based culture to a responsibility-based culture.  Preliminary steps are listed below:

1.  Align the compensation plan and the sales process.

To assess the current culture, ask the following questions:

·      Is there a fast start?

·      Does it work if the behaviors you’re asking for are performed?

·      What is the field training new people to do?

·      Are the corporate tools and the field performance on the same page?

·      Are you both asking the new person the same questions and expecting the same behaviors?

·      Do the behaviors the field is training creating rank advancements?

·      Are checks going up or do you have high peaks and low valleys?

When these things have aligned the distance between peaks and valleys is much less pronounced. They’ll always be there based on bonuses and what not but the closer they are together the less friction you have. Predictability creates comfort and people want to be comfortable with their compensation.

2.  Move individuals from a rewards mindset to a responsibility mindset.

Whenever a new distributor signs up, they are signaling that they are motivated by the opportunity to make money. Keep in mind this is very different than being motivated by the compensation plan. They don’t know it, they haven’t experienced it yet but the promise of making some money played a very large role in their decision to join. Money motivated is a me motivation, which isn’t a bad thing at first. However, for any organization to thrive, the individuals need to have a strong tie to that organization other than just what is in it for them.

Simply put if the organization is me focused, the sum of the parts is the sum of the whole. If an organization is we focused then the sum of the parts is greater than the whole.

Below are the main ingredients for our secret sauce to maximizing output without sacrificing quality and most importantly, fostering an environment where creative talent can feel empowered, inspired and proud of the work they do.

How do you do it?

1. Do you have a clear mission/vision for your company? Be honest about it. If the mission/vision is to make money and offer a great opportunity for anyone who becomes involved to do the same, then great. Transparency is key. Actions always speak louder than words and if your vision is not aligned with what you’re saying your actions will tell the real story and the incongruence will create uncertainty and doubt.

2. Do you know who your audience is? Many times, the audience we want is different than the audience we are getting. Is this true for your company? Do you know who your customers are? Are they the same as your distributors? Who are they? What do they value? If you don’t know then you can’t speak to them properly.

3. Are your mission and vision simple, and does it appeal to your audience? Can a new person understand it and can they “get on board”? You’re trying to create a movement that happens by moving people. You must give them a sense of individual satisfaction from what you are asking them to accomplish. There must be a purpose to the action beyond the fiscal rewards. Remember not everyone wants to save the world, the mission and vision could be as simple as we want to give everyone a great opportunity to make money and have a lot of fun doing it.

4. Does your message give the hearer an individual sense of responsibility to further the mission/vision? This doesn’t happen overnight. Think of any job you’ve taken. How long did it take for you to understand the culture of the organization? Weeks, months, years maybe? When you did, what cultures motivated you personally beyond the money you were making? Do you remember a job where you felt like you really belonged, you loved being there and felt like you wanted the organization to really win? Not just because you got paid more but because you cared about everyone that the organization touched? This is what you are trying to create.

A culture like this creates a sense of responsibility. Responsibility to self-govern, to further the cause, to share with others and to not let anyone on the team down. You show up and you work hard because everyone is depending on you just as you depend on everyone else.

One example that we can all relate to that exemplifies a successful we culture is a successful professional sports team. None of the players would be there if they weren’t getting paid. But paying the top players to all be on a single team doesn’t guarantee championships. You hear players and coaches talk all the time about chemistry. If you look back at any of the great sports franchises over the years,  the individual players came and then a little while later the chemistry developed and then the championships came. Chemistry/Culture is all the same and winning came when the culture and mindset of the individual players went from me to we.

Rewards are important but fostering the sense of responsibility throughout your organization can take it from being overpaid and underachieving to one of the great dynasties that will be talked about for decades.

Noah Westerlund

About Noah Westerlund

Noah joined SUCCESS Partners in 2018 and oversees business development and client relations. He has more than 20 years’ marketing and direct selling experience in all facets of Operations, Sales, Product Development, Branding, IT and Corporate Communications. Noah specializes in the development and implementation of scalable solutions designed to maximize process efficiency and reduce costs.

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