How to Keep Your Credit Team Motivated and Performing
Hi, my name is Adam Stewart, Debt Collection Expert and owner of Debt Recoveries Australia.
As the credit manager or team leader in charge of collections, you have the difficult task of managing multiple tasks, including keeping the members of your credit and collection team motivated.
Here are some ideas I have found to keep them motivated and performing:
Set Clear Benchmarks
Make certain everyone understands in detail what performance is expected of them, and how their performance will be evaluated. Our main performance evaluator is how much is collected. This seems obvious, but you also need to let your staff know how much they are expected to collect and in what time-frame.
Provide Authentic Feedback
Everyone deserves genuine feedback on his or her performance. Feedback rewards individuals for their accomplishments, encourages them to improve, and empowers them to achieve their goals. Authentic feedback does more than just validate the person who earns it — it validates the relationship between the giver and the receiver.
Acknowledge an individual’s progress. Recognizing when your team member has reached significant milestones will keep them performing at their best. Acknowledgment not only builds confidence in struggling operators, but also signals to team members that you notice and appreciate their hard work.
Give meaningful praise. Don’t offer insincere praise just for the sake of encouragement. You should, however, praise individuals for devoting extra care to a project. Authenticity strengthens the relationship between you and your team.
Cold, hard cash is a tried and true motivator. Many sales teams hold weekly, monthly and quarterly contests on both the individual and team levels. You can set the same parameters for your credit team, based on either how much they collect or the total commission earned.
Fair and Transparent Treatment
Treat employees fairly (because they will be quick to notice unfair and inequitable treatment). Do not play favourites. Inconsistency in the way individuals are evaluated and treated hurts morale, and opens the door to distrust and low morale.
Act fairly, respect, and create trust. Use your judgment, wisdom, and experience to create a supportive environment. When problems arise, examine the circumstances, understand the context, and only then give feedback. Respect and trust your team and you will get the same in return. If you make a mistake, apologise and admit you were wrong. This will allow your employees to relate to you better, and they will appreciate your honesty.
Make Progress Visible
I like to email all our operators statistics each week, so that everyone can see how everyone else is doing. More importantly, each operator can compare themselves with their team-mates, to see how they are doing. I find this helps people monitor their progress. Viewing this progress each day provides positive feelings of accomplishment and fosters competitiveness, which I think is a good thing.
Provide employees with opportunities to grow in their position, to learn new skills and to advance within the department or within the company. Everyone likes to have goals and to be provided with a pathway of development. Try and find out what motivates each employee and give them the opportunity to be able to follow that pathway.
How about you? How do you keep your credit team motivated?
Debt Recoveries Australia is the expert at recovering your outstanding debts without the drama. For more information, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1300 799 511. Tell us your problems on Skype at “debtrecoveries”.