Commission or Bust

The article by Jeffrey Pfeffer about the troubles that the follow the use of a commission system is another in a smattering of article that discuss the backlash that commission systems face.  In this article however, he also give some really good examples of not only large scale companies that have tries to use a commission system as well as larger companies. 

What I got from this article is that there really is not a good example of a successful commission system.  With every commission system there are the downfalls.  Most notable the fact that the employees uses this system to get the most amount of money by doing the least amount of work.  There is also the fact that people are no longer working to benefit the company but to benefit themselves.  It is hard to maintain an intrinsically motivated sales staff when the only thing they are interested in is how much they can make and not how much they actually like their job. 

So when a company is initiating a commission system in their company because they have motivation issues they should not do it because it “offers a mirage of a quick fix”.  They should really take a look at their company system and culture and see where the problem actually lies.  As the article says, “be careful what you pay for, you may get it”, the good, the bad, and the ugly.


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