Credit professionals are a great group of people. They are hard workers. They are multi-taskers. They are consensus builders. They are goal focused. They are risk managers. But, what keeps them engaged and involved?
Motivation is defined as the reason one has for acting or behaving in a particular way. So what motivates the credit professional to continue to perform and strive to be successful? This is a question I think about often. I manage a team of 10 credit professionals and each one is motivated differently. We have department goals and objectives and that influences their actions however it is more than that. Some are motivated by the bonus plan we provide. Some are motivated by the opportunity to learn more about our customers and our business process. Some simply enjoy the challenge of getting the task completed, the account approved, the cash in the door, etc.
Will a challenging bonus program motivate you to be more successful? Our bonus plan is specific to cash results, past due balances and timely accounts reviews. In the past, it has also included turn-around time on applications, order releases and customer visits. A friend of mine once said, what gets measured gets done and that is what stays with me when I create a bonus plan.
Will the opportunity to learn more motivate you? Mastering a new task will keep you engaged. You should challenge yourself by learning a new “thing” every month. There are a lot of ways to find that new “thing”, webinars or classes, cross-training within and outside the credit dept, what about volunteering?
Will more engagement and influence in business decisions motivate you? The credit department has a unique role within the company; they interact with almost every dept. The credit professional can influence change, can offer insight to how a process works, and can help to make your business more successful. Think big, get involved, and challenge the barriers.
Everyone is motivated differently; I encourage you to think about what motivates you and make sure you strive to keep yourself challenged every day.
Have a great month!
Melissa Kobus, CCE, is the Credit Management Association Chairman and Regional Credit Manager for Anixter Inc., based in Anaheim, CA. She can be reached at 714-695-2219, or firstname.lastname@example.org