Unfair to hold back sales reps' commissions

To raise standards using the balance scorecard (BSC) framework is laudable ("Financial sales reps face audits from next year"; Dec 11).

But in these modern times, when most financial sales representatives are better educated, the move seems to be an archaic method of ensuring compliance with guidelines.

Will the cut for the affected firms' directors and managers be similarly withheld or clawed back should lapses be found?

Closing sales requires effort, even expenses, and recognition is due for such work done.

Withholding commissions - in whole, in part, or, worst of all, clawing them back - is akin to withholding or not paying an employee's salary for non-compliance.

There are better ways to implement this new framework, such as holding compulsory remedial classes for those graded B, and having increasingly lengthier periods of suspensions from sales - finally ending in termination - for those graded C or worse.

Managers and directors also have a role to play in this BSC framework. The withholding or clawing back of commissions can also be abused.

Cheang Weng Keong

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 24, 2015, with the headline 'Unfair to hold back sales reps' commissions'. Print Edition | Subscribe