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Vol. 2 Issue 1
Most managers will agree that reward programs are a good thing when tied to results. In our work with business performance measurement we find that these programs need fuel to enhance the motivation toward improvement. While it's true that the act of displaying results alone will create motivation, rewards will give the motivation an extra boost. Without incentives it is not likely that desired performance will ever be fully achieved, and that performance certainly won't be repeated. People act to achieve rewards, and to avoid punishments. But performance that is reward-based is always stronger, more creative, more durable, and certainly more positive.
A measurement program needs rewards to enhance motivation in the same way winning drives a football or tennis game. What does winning bring to a game besides the satisfaction of victory? The
cheers of the cheerleaders and the fans, the praise of their coaches, the write-ups in the press, the replays on TV, the interviews, the public appearances, the rankings, the division championship and the MVP, the bowl games, and the much coveted Super Bowl Ring. These are the incentives aside from outside of money. They are powerful motivators in their own right, in sports and in business.
Employee reward programs need not be expensive; all rewards do not have to be monetary. Rewards that are recognition-based are usually both powerful and inexpensive.
Here are a few rules for recognition rewards:
Here is a list of suggested, inexpensive rewards:
Now for a word about bonuses. Bonuses are certainly an excellent reward as long as they adhere to the rules above. Without the recognition and sense of achievement, money is just pocket change. Presenting the bonus to the achievers at an event enhances the motivation and makes the reward more meaningful. Money as a reward is more expensive because the amount needs to be significant enough to be desired and worked for. However, care should be taken to communicate compensation for results, not effort. Be sure that bonuses are achievable by all, but actually earned by 80 - 90%.
That's it for some simple tips on reward programs. Keep in mind that rewards complete a business performance measurement program in the same way that fuel makes the car go. And measurement grounds any reward program firmly in results.
For a summary list of 21 tips for a reward program, see our rewards bulletin