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The Pros And Cons Of Rewarding Your Employees

Aug 17, 2007
How are you with rewarding your people?

The occasional box of chocolates. Maybe an away day 'Team-Building', dressed up as learning, with a few (or a lot of) beers at the free bar!

Sometimes you'll recognise just one person for a particular effort. Other times all of your people need recognition for a team result, where a big goal has been achieved overall.

Recognition by reward is, frankly, fraught with difficulties!

Indeed in teams where your management style is seen to be consistent and fair to all, you will be doing pretty well and above the average, just doing that and very, very motivational it will be!

Tangible reward is another ball-game. You can do it if you are fair and consistent, as a basic requirement, and also listen hard for clues to enable you to be inclusive for all your people. Reward for great performance on an individual basis needs to be fact-based above all.

Then everyone needs to be in a position to be able to achieve whatever greatness it is that you reward for.

From the folks who keeps the toilets clean, to the front-end star salespeople - whose achievements are much more easily related to the business end. Making sure everyone can be recognised; can be a 'winner' is vital.

Then, recognising everyone on a rota basis is tough as well!

If you are seen to be doing this, then sceptics will spot that their turn will come whatever and the value of the reward is DEvalued.

See the tricky bits in this?

The key is to keep it fun and light. Rewarding the whole team with simple and fun things like cream cakes or chocolate as a start can worth really, really well.

As a manager, be especially sensitive to things you hear where someone has done well and reward them accordingly.

Maybe by letting them go early one night or have a shot at a different role they've aspired to for a couple of days.

Truth is, reward is best served up by thanks and personal recognition. And tangible treats are fun to do and use as long as they fit in with the environment of the place where people work.

There are two pitfalls for tangible reward:-

1. You only reward your own or your senior team's 'favorites' - and then one half of your team feels badly done to, which undermines overall morale.

2. You overlay material reward on unhappy employees. And they are unhappy because their workplace is not the best environment for them to work (the things that should always happen as a core don't happen).

Sharing a free cake or two with each of your people, without the basics being right, is never going to be in your best interests.
About the Author
(c) 2007 Martin Haworth is a Business and Management Coach. He works worldwide with small business owners, managers and corporate leaders. He has hundreds of hints, tips and ideas at his website, www.coaching-businesses-to-success.com.
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