Customers With Disabilities

    Verizon Business Sites

  • Services  

    Order Services

    See All Plans & Bundles

    Special Deals

    Moving Made Easy


    Current Customers

    Add or Change Services

    Renew or Change Bundle

    Find out which Verizon services are available at your address.

  • My Verizon  

    Email & Calls

    Check Email

    Verizon Visual 411



    Bill & Payment

    View Bill

    Pay Bill

    Pay Final Bill

    Manage Auto Pay

    Manage Paper Free Billing

    My Services

    Add or Change Services

    Renew or Change Bundle

    Review Account

    Manage My Internet

    Manage My Voice


    My Rewards+

    Manage My Rewards+

    Refer a Friend




  • Support  

    Community help





  • Watch FiOS  

    Watch thousands of your favorite TV shows and movies On Demand and Live. Rent or buy your favorites and watch them on any device. Or, check what's on tonight and program your DVR. You can do it all!

    Watch Free TV & Movies



    Rent or Buy

    Set your TV Viewing Experience

  • Trending  

    Check out this personalized, real-time feed featuring the latest content and entertainment from around the Web including new headlines, sports, entertainment and more.






    See what's Trending!

The Verizon Small Business Facebook and Twitter pages have launched. Follow Us at and Find Us at

Motivate (and Pay) Your People To Stay

by Employee ‎07-14-2011 07:51 AM - edited ‎07-20-2011 07:07 AM

jen-prosek - small.jpgGuest post from Jennifer Prosek, CEO of CJP Communications and the author of Army of Entrepreneurs™: Create an Engaged and Empowered Workforce for Exceptional Business Growth. July’s featured author in the Verizon Author Series.  You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook.



One of the biggest challenges to a small business isn’t found on a balance sheet. Instead, it’s an issue of human capital. The process of keeping good people is an ongoing test for the small business owner.


As the founder and CEO of my own firm, a public relations and financial communications agency, I face this situation over and over again. Even as my company grows, I find my best people are often tempted by the bigger players in my field. What can I do to keep my best talent at home? I’ve found the most effective way to do this is to align my bottom line with their bottom line.


To do this, I initiated a Commission for Life™ compensation plan. Any of my employees who set up a successful new business meeting – that’s it, just simply sets up the first meeting with a potential client – gets 5% of the revenue from that account for the life of the business as long as they remain with the firm.


I created this system initially as a strategy to encourage the kind of behaviors I needed. I wanted my staff to constantly be on the hunt for new business, and so I created a compensation system that rewarded that work. But Commission for Life does more than just drum up new business. It’s also become a very successful retention strategy for my firm.

Why it works:


It’s democratic. Anyone in the company can participate. In fact, I want everybody in the company to participate. This sets Commission for Life apart from other reward plans such as those that only reward executives or only benefit outside sales reps.


It’s easy to understand. Transparency is an important part of my corporate architecture and Commission for Life underscores this commitment. There are no hidden ‘gotchas’, no hoops to jump through, no exceptions to the pay out. Set up the new business meeting and you’re up for the 5% - if we win the client (and in most cases we do).


It’s inspirational. One year a summer intern who is now an Account Supervisor with the firm, scored the biggest new business account of the quarter and had a commission check to prove it, and boy, did word get around. Everyone started to flip through their Rolodexes and scroll through LinkedIn and Facebook pages trying to think of who they could target for a new business meeting. And that’s just the kind of response I like to see: employees, motivated, out beating the bushes for new business. Not because I ordered them to do it, but because I motivated them to do it – for all of us.


While a pay strategy is important, I also make sure I focus on offering “psychic” compensation -- compensation that doesn’t come in monetary (or really any tangible) form. I offer my employees autonomy. I offer them complex and challenging work to keep them engaged and learning. I am generous with my praise and my appreciation. If you don’t have those elements that make people feel good about working for you, no pay strategy will hold them indefinitely.


How do you motivate your employees?


Photo by Arnold Adler Photography




About Verizon's Small Business
Get news from Verizon about small business services and market trends that affect your bottom line. Here, you'll find tips and commentary from the Verizon small business group and other experts to help keep your business growing.


Contact the editor:

About the Authors

Mark W. Adams

Director: Verizon National Marketing

Photo of Mark Adams

Mark leads the way to bring innovative solutions to small businesses.

Mark Smith

Executive Director: Verizon Ventures

Photo of Mark Smith

Mark works with and identifies entrepreneurial companies for Verizon to invest in and fund.

Ellen Yu

Sr. Manager: Media Relations

Photo of Ellen Yu

Ellen provides PR support to Verizon's small business team, landlines and FiOS in apartment buildings and small and medium-sized commercial properties such as strip malls, and street-level shops and offices.


My Verizon

Support Tools

Watch FiOS


  • Visual 411