Tip: Reward Employees for High Performance to Get High Performance - Modern Distribution Management

Log In

Tip: Reward Employees for High Performance to Get High Performance

If employees are your most important asset, treat them that way.

Distinctive service is the only competitive edge for many distributors, and it's something that can't be provided without a service team that believes in providing that distinctive service, according to Bruce Merrifield in B2B Means Back to Basics for Now. If employees truly are your most important asset, why don't executives treat them that way?

\"TheDownload a Free Chapter:
The Little Black Book of Strategic Planning for Distributors

Submit your email address below to receive a chapter of Brent Grover’s new book. When you submit your email you will be signed up to receive weekly distribution news updates.


Paying more and investing more into frontline employees gets a lot more in return. "'Hire them cheap and work them hard' works only when the owner is the 80-hour-per-week foreman in a perpetually small business," Merrifield says. Paying a higher starting wage while clearly communicating your expectations can help create a higher sense of loyalty to the company and, as a result, better retention.

In addition, companies that invest in education to cross-train employees create an environment of understanding what happens at every step in the process. "Wire every employee's wallet, mind and heart into achieving basic service brilliance for one niche of customers at a time," Merrifield says. Defining the connections between each step in your organization is essential for creating an effective organization, says Chuck Emery in A Practical Approach to Lean, and helps employees be more aware of issues that arise for a more rapid response.

Finally, give employees responsibility for growing re-invested profits by being part of the solution to improve service and productivity goals. While responsibility may seem to be a strange reward, "Playing a game with no way of keeping score or knowing how we are progressing toward some measurably excellent goal is not fun," Merrifield says. "If our occupational pride and well-being is at stake, then its time to leave if we have any ambition."

Share this article

About the Author
Recommended Reading
Leave a Reply

Leave a Comment

Sign Up for the MDM Update Newsletter

The MDM update newsletter is your best source for news and trends in the wholesale distribution industry.

Get the MDM Update Newsletter

Wholesale distribution news and trends delivered right to your inbox.

Sign-up for our free newsletter and get:

  • Up-to-date news in a quick-to-read format
  • Free access to webcasts, podcasts and live events
  • Exclusive whitepapers, research and reports
  • And more!


articles left

Want more Premium content from MDM?

Subscribe today and get:

  • New issues twice each month
  • Unlimited access to mdm.com, including 10+ years of archived data
  • Current trends analysis, market data and economic updates
  • Discounts on select store products and events

Subscribe to continue reading

MDM Premium Subscribers get:

  • Unlimited access to MDM.com
  • 1 year digital subscription, with new issues twice a month
  • Trends analysis, market data and quarterly economic updates
  • Deals on select store products and events



You have one free article remaining

Subscribe to MDM Premium to get unlimited access. Your subscription includes:

  • Two new issues a month
  • Access to 10+ years of archived data on mdm.com
  • Quarterly economic updates, trends analysis and market data
  • Store and event discounts

To continue reading, you must be an MDM Premium subscriber.

Join other distribution executives who use MDM Premium to optimize their business. Our insights and analysis help you enter the right new markets, turbocharge your sales and marketing efforts, identify business partners that help you scale, and stay ahead of your competitors.

Register for full access

By providing your email, you agree to receive announcements from us and our partners for our newsletter, events, surveys, and partner resources per MDM Terms & Conditions. You can withdraw consent at any time.

Learn More about Custom Reports

Request a Market Prospector Demo

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.