Winning Ways in the Workplace

March 1, 2011 By Aminda

A recent post discussed the correlation of winning with the popularity of problem solving challenges and competition, which rewards work in a way that is not typically experienced on the job. While employers can’t or wouldn’t want to transform the R&D department pay structure into a reward or commission based plan so that workers feel more motivated, organizations can be using similar methods to increase productivity.

Not only can but should be according to an interesting interview with Adrian Gostick, co-author of The Carrot Principle, who explains the power of reward and recognition in motivating employees to perform. Gostick explains;

“We found a correlation between recognition and profitability. (The researchers) were really excited when they called us and said, ‘We have found something really remarkable. We can’t think of another leadership characteristic that can make this kind of financial difference in an organization. This is remarkable,” they said. If we were seeing 10 or 20 percent variance between groups, then it may be an anomaly. It may be interesting. But something statistically significant is going on here with employee recognition and return on equity.’

However, the challenge with reward systems, according to John Sweeney, Author of Innovation at the Speed of Laughter is that the traditional top-down organizational structure creates a rewards policy based on based mostly on an individual contribution – not necessarily on team efforts and successes. “Organizations that reward selflessness in their teams will outperform the others every time.” He said. “That’s a little too bold – sometimes it may also depend on role of teams in the organization. There are lots of reasons why you want sales people to be rewarded for their individual activities.”

Gostick also points out that reward things, like exceptional work or innovative ideas, is only a part of the picture. A big part of recognition is establishing an environment of trust and communication where leaders take time to show interest in employees’ well being. Simple courtesies can go a long way in motivating employees to excel at meeting organization goals.

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Reader Comments

I love your wp theme, exactly where did you download it from?
Posted by Jenee Euvrard on October 3, 2011

There are some interesting points here. I certainly see what you're saying about the benefits of rewarding employees who perform well. Employees will only remain loyal to a company if they feel properly valued and are aware that their achievements are being recognised. As you say though, selecting the right employees to reward can be challenging due to issues such as selflessness and incomparable sectors of a business. Clearly more attention needs to be given to reward systems than is often the case. Bosses should be adequately in tune with their business and employees to be able to recognise achievement from a perspective that is not just profit based. This encourages a better communication between different levels in a company, which is surely a positive move.
Posted by Ian Jones on September 7, 2011

All about aligning corporate policy, indicators and bonuses.
Get that right and the organization becomes the employer of choice
and succeeds beyond its wildest dreams.
And yes, HR can point to a bottom line contribution.
Posted by Ian on July 19, 2011

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