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Happy New Beers!

Written by Victoria Thomson, HR Dept Haywards Heath & Crowborough

You’ve got your lovely new micro-brewery, you’ve got your craft beer and now you’re ready to take on your first member of staff. Where do you begin? Where do you get an employment contract? How much National Insurance should you pay? What sort of bonus will they expect? Does this sound familiar?!

One question that tends to come up with my clients when sales are part of someone’s role is: “what happens if I meet 100% of my sales target?” If they are regularly hitting and exceeding the 100% target, this is definitely an employee that you want to nurture and keep hold of! You don’t want to run the risk of losing them to the competition!

So, what do you do? You can’t afford to make the bonus pot a bottomless money pit! There might be a few things you need to look at first. For instance, did you set their sales target way too low in the first place?! (You might need to learn from that in year one and then review the targets for next year) And to make sure you don’t get caught out, here’s a useful tip for you: have a separate written agreement for any bonus or commission payments rather than putting it into the contract. Then you set out the rules at the start of each year.

If you did put the agreement in the contract, that’s harder to change. Not impossible, just harder. (If you have done that and need to change it, the HR Dept can help! Call us on 01444 688 988)

If the sales target was actually quite challenging, and your star performer has still met and then exceeded it, there are a few things to consider. The first one being that you want to continue to incentivise them. You don’t want them to think that they can sit back and relax now just because they aren’t going to earn any more, however much extra beer they sell.

What about offering them a profit share, based on those extra 100%+ sales? Or the option to buy extra holiday to spend their well-earned bonus on? Maybe they’d like to sell some holiday back to the company as that puts more money into their pocket? (Just be careful they don’t go below the statutory minimum) Possibly they would appreciate a higher contribution to their pension scheme for a year or their gym membership paid for six months.

There are many ways that you can get the best out of your sales people and, if you can’t quite stretch to offering some of these yet, at the very least take them to the pub and buy them a pint to say thank you! Cheers!