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Distributors’ Motivational Methods

There’s no doubt that the past two years have been hard on most businesses, and GAWDA members are no different. However, in speaking with distributors, there is a certain pride I have noticed among those members who have been able to maintain their staff through the economic downturn. In many cases, sacrifices were made to make this happen, and in the midst of an economic mire, pay raises were sacrificed by workers in all industries.

A few months back, I posed the question: How do you motivate employees when raises are not an option? (See post here.) These may be slow times, but employee motivation is a constant need.

Well, the answers are in, and I want to share what distributors are saying. If you have your copy of Welding & Gases Today handy, the distributor responses are on page 110 of the Winter 2011 issue, or you can view the article online. (Look for the box that says “Six Ways To Get To Yes”)

Many distributors said open communication was the key to keeping employees motivated. We highlighted some of the more unique strategies for stirring up productivity and keeping employees happy. One such example is Jackson Welding Supply, who recently held a sales contest to give its employees a boost. “We hold a month-long sales competition, with separate categories for outside salespeople and branch managers, to make sure we hit our target,” he says. “The individuals and branch locations with the greatest sales growth receive $500 gift cards to a store of their choice. The employees love it, and we get great results.” This was just one of the great ideas distributors had.

What do you think? Could any of these motivational practices work for you? What else does your company do to keep employees motivated?

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