Raman is the Sales manager of a reputed Corporation. He has 25 employees in his department, and all are paid commission for their sales in their territories. For the past 3 years the market for the companyís goods has been steadily growing and the majority.\ of Ramanís staff have met this growth with increased sales. However one employee in particular, Gopal has not kept up with the pace.

Gopal has been with this corporation for over 20yrs and is now 56 yrs old. He is a friendly man and is liked by all his peers and those to whom he sells the companyís products o a regular basis. The company has always considered Gopal dependable and loyal. Through the years, he has been counted as an asset to the company, but at the age of 56, he has gone into an age of semi-retirement.

Gopalís sales have not increased as others have and he does not have the determination to acquire a significant increase in sales. Raman wishes to change this situation. He wants to motivate Gopal into increasing his sales to match that of his younger peers. To do this. Gopal must begin to do more than just put in his time, but Raman is not sure how to go about trying to motivate him. Unlike the majority of new employees, Gopal is an old man, who within a few years will reach the age of retirement.

If you were Raman, the sales manager, what would you do?

From Bangladesh, Dhaka

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From United Kingdom

It's a believed fact that in any department/organization, hardly 15 to 25% employees, actually deliver and rest of the staff enjoys at the cost of other deliverable staff. In your case, majority of the staff is performing, except one Mr Gopal. So, situation in your corporation is unprecedentedly high & healthy.

More so, Gopal has other strengths, such as, his loyalty and experience, besides long association with the organization, for that the company can rely on him all the time in case of any pitfall. Experience is considered to be quite handy in all difficult situations and in real distress time, his one suggestion, out of his long experience, could turn the table & bring the company back on track.

Further, aging is a natural process and everyone has to go through it and his 56 years is not a hurdle. Just imagine for a second by replacing the situation and putting ourselves into Gopal's situation. We will get the answer. A person who has already given his golden years to the Company and now at the fag end where he might be having more personal and social responsibilities to fulfill, apart from arranging corpus for his post retired life, the company is thinking differently.

Here, I would like to explain the situation by a practical example. Once I had to draw cash from the Bank and the dealing person was taking too much time than expected. Annoyed by his sluggish working, I approached the Bank Manager and narrated the whole incident. His reply was quite shocking & surprising. The Branch Manager said in a distinct voice that your company will be having a good number of such staff too, who would be inefficient and low performer, could you throw them out?

Last but not the least, the company has been persisting with Gopal for the last 20 years and he has been there with the company in every thick & thin period. So, there would be many reasons with the company to persist with Gopal for such a long period and just for going into his semi-retirement mode after serving a long period of 20 years does not seem to be a valid reason to think otherwise.

In Gopal's case, his priorities might have somewhat changed now over others, we need to understand his situation and rely on his strengths rather than focusing on his one or two weaknesses...! He is still an asset to the company because of his long association.

From India, New Delhi

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