People like good surprises. Surprise parties, surprise gifts, or surprise bonuses even make people happy. But no one likes a surprise reduction in their commission payments. That’s the kind of thing that leads to commission disputes and maybe even legal action.
When a sales representative or agent feels they’ve been shorted or unfairly paid, it sours their relationship with their employer. Perhaps they were expecting a split commission from a sale or their manager promised an incentive that never got processed. Failing to provide details on commission pay until the day a check is cut is a good way to disappoint employees.
Commission or compensation disputes raise concerns among employees, trigger stress for commission administrators, and spread negativity in the workplace. If disputes are not handled quickly, clearly, and with full transparency, it sows doubts about how fairly commissions are doled out. That’s hard to recover from.
Handling commission disputes is tricky business. It’s important to be prepared to navigate questions about pay from employees in a delicate and thorough way. We here at Core have a little experience with how to do this effectively and we’ve got a few suggestions.
Here are the three best ways to handle commission disputes:
- Prevention is the best method. Providing sales representatives or agents with full transparency on their pay throughout their pay period hampers misunderstandings before they happen. With Core Commissions, employees can access their own, individualized dashboard at any time to review their progress. Allowing them to explore their own data will help them answer their own questions. If they still have concerns, they can contact the commission administrator before the end of the pay period to resolve issues before they happen.
- Lay out a clear path to address disputes. Even with the most meticulous planning, disputes will still happen. So be prepared for that commission dispute with an easy and understandable way for your employees to get their disputes reviewed and resolved. They need to know where to go, what to do, and how long it will take. It also helps if they can get regular updates on where their dispute stands. For Core Enterprise customers, we provide dispute management as a service. Employees can fill out a form which goes directly to the administrator. The administrator can respond or delegate the dispute to a manager. The submitting employee will get updates about their dispute with each new development up until the conflict is resolved.
- Be ready to hand over reports.If a dispute cannot be resolved easily, it may fall on the employer to prove that commissions and incentives are applied fair and evenly among all employees. If that means combing through fifty-plus Excel sheets, that could be a nightmare for a commission administrator. Core can get it done for you in minutes, saving you time, money, and possibly legal action.
A good strategy for commission disputes should be part of your compensation and payroll plan from the very beginning. If you haven’t considered it, send us a note.
Core Commissions can help you manage and administer your commissions, handle disputes, and even easily provide data to prove that your commission plan is fair and objective. Check out our Quick Start program and we’ll get you up and running faster than you can say commission dispute!