When he addressed strategy for communicating a compensation plan to a company’s sales force, Joseph DiMisa recognized the irony of selling the plan to the sales force. After all, these folks recognize a sales strategy when they see one.
DiMisa is senior vice president of Sales Force Effectiveness at Sibson Consulting and is a frequent writer and speaker on the subject. While his article in Sibson’s recent issue of Perspectives was specifically aimed at the sales force, many of its ideas can be applied to any employee segment; extending it to all employees was our goal when we reached out to him for this article.
The best-designed compensation plan won’t work as intended if people don’t understand it, DiMisa asserts. Explaining and, in effect, selling the plan are necessary to motivate desired behaviors.
To do that effectively, he says, compensation plan communication should include these elements: strategic objectives, plan components and compensation mechanics, and incentive calculators. Each element is important on its own, but more importantly, they link together to form the overall messaging that can encourage behaviors that result in success.