It appears that William's has three problems. One is to try to retain his current sales staff, second is to keep them motivated, and third to be aware of his own job may be at risk. The job of motivating people can be quite difficult, especially during times of change. Individual motivations in life and work vary greatly. William needs to address his salespeople on a higher level of influence, one which will address not just the how and what of their jobs, but the why. Why are his salespeople here, what are they trying to accomplish in their work, what is most important to them in achieving the success they once had with Initiative Corporation? When William addresses the reasons for the sales team's prior achievements, successes, and inspirations, then he will have more power to influence and motivate them to success under their new sales compensation plans. When his people are able to see past the current dilemma (the company merger) and go back to the bigger picture, they will be much more inspired to withstand the changes and stay with the organization. He must lead with a cause and not try to push with fear. When individuals are able to achieve and experience what is most important to them, they are more focused on higher levels of work performance. If William wants to stay with this company, he needs to play by management's rules and continue selling this plan to the salespeople. William may also try to sit down with management and generate a plan that allows for the big end-of-year bonuses if the sales force breaks quota by more than 90 percent. Having this will give him additional leverage when trying to motivate his salespeople.
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