Oct 16, 2012
Work rewards – do they get you better results?
Cake, doughnuts, coffee, positive strokes (Good Work, Well Done, Thank You), prizes, money, time off, pension, development, company car, promotion, praise, bigger office, personal growth, good appraisal, team work, favourite work, job security, freedom, fun, belonging, responsibility and trust, self esteem and self worth, interesting work, job satisfaction, bonuses… the list goes on.
But how many managers really think about what value these different work rewards offer? On closer examination their application and return on investment makes for interesting and illuminating reading.
Here are the top 11 most common work rewards, each with a comment about how effective they are at encouraging high performance:
- Money. Only if there is a direct and demonstrable link between reward and performance.
- Promotion. Leaders usually cannot promise promotion. They can however help their people perform well to improve their chances and champion their case.
- Security. Security comes from being employable and flexible. The leader can develop their staff to perform to their highest ability and help them to embrace change. This will help them retain their job or find employment elsewhere if necessary.
- Recognition. Praise, increased responsibility, trust, saying ‘well done’, letters of congratulation and many more are all recognition work rewards. One of the simplest is the symbolic one of cakes, coffee or even bananas. Golden Banana story.
- Time off. Accommodating requests from good performers, but not poor ones, and ‘Job and Finish’ are both types of time off work rewards.
- Fun. Making work more enjoyable and exciting by developing team spirit, celebrating achievements and initiating competitions. These can help people pull out all the stops and show what they can do.
- Learning and Personal Growth. Being challenged, learning new skills and developing experience.
- Interesting or Favourite Work. Allocating attractive jobs to those that perform well can also be included in work rewards.
- Ownership, Responsibility and Delegation. Showing trust to good performers by makng the job ‘theirs’.
- Job Satisfaction. Making work meaningful and assisting them in developing mastery to do the job well.
- Self Esteem and Self Worth. This can be done by creating and reinforcing competence and contribution.
How do you encourage performance with work rewards and how effective are they?