Episode 04 : Financial incentive business english podcast
|A: I’ve been noticing that my employee output has been getting lower lately. What do you do when that happens?
B: First you have to assess the situation and come up with some reasons why the output might be low.
A: I have no idea why. I’m nice to everyone and I pay them all quite a high salary.
B: What about bonuses or anything commission based? What sort of financial incentives do you give them?
A: They all have a good medical plan and I give them all a Christmas bonus.
B: That’s great but it seems like the workers get the same amount of money regardless of what they do? From their perspective, what is the motivation to work hard?
A: Well, I do my best to verbally encourage them with a job well done. Commission seems like a good idea but it would be hard to do in our industry.
B: Maybe think about employee stock options or profit sharing. Give them ownership in the company. Make them feel that they will be rewarded for their efforts.
Key vocabulary and phrases that are discussed in the podcast:
Employee output: The amount of actual useful work done by each employee. Sometimes this is difficult to measure. For example, it is hard to measure the amount of actual work done by someone in HR. It can be quite easy with some jobs such as an employee who makes socks in a factory. The number of socks they make is their employee output.
Come up with some reasons: “Come up with” is a phrase meaning, “think of”
Commission based: Commission based pay is related to how much work you get done. Sales people often get paid by commission. If you get paid by commission you will get paid based on the amount of money of the goods you sold. Paying by commission gives more incentive to work hard.
Financial incentives: Incentive is a reason to do something. Financial incentives mean offering money to someone because you hope that they will do a better job because of the money. Bosses often like to give financial incentives to employees to keep them sharp and working hard.
Medical plan: Many jobs offer their employees a medical plan. Some plans are better than others, but they are all some kind of insurance for the employees in case they get sick or hurt.
Christmas bonus: Extra money given to employees at Christmas time. Sometimes all employees get the same bonus, other times the size of the bonus is a percentage of their salary. It’s also common that the size of the Christmas bonus depends on how well the employee worked during the previous year.
From their perspective: “From their perspective” is the same as, “from their point of view”. It means if you were those people, how would you view the situation? Often a boss will see things differently than his employees. They must try to imagine that they were an employee in the same situation in order to see things from their perspective.
Motivation: A feeling of drive to do something. If you are motivated to do something, you believe there is a good reason to do it. It makes doing anything you don’t like much easier because you feel motivated to do it. If you know that you will earn much more money if you do a better job, it will increase your motivation. Other things can influence motivation as well.
Verbally encourage: Say words to people to make them feel that they are doing a good job and should continue to do a good job.
Employee stock options: The opportunity for employees to buy shares or stocks in the company. Often management wants employees to own part of the company so that the employees feel more motivated to do a good job.
Profit sharing: It means sharing the profit of the company with the employees. If the company does well, the employees make more money. It’s another example of a financial incentive.