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Reward systems part 2


Increased independence

Why not recognise achievement by showing increased trust and reliance. Give additional challenges and extra responsibility. Perhaps give them another member of staff. Perhaps give them a budget.


This is a powerful recognition of performance. It may not be an option if promotion is not possible.
This may arise if no job becomes available, if there is no justification to create one or budgets are tight.
Don’t hold this out as a carrot if you know it is unlikely to happen no matter how well deserved.

Having to withdraw a possible reward will create reduced motivation.

Public recognition

Tell people about the great work of the individual. Put the story in a newsletter.
Inform senior management. If they can come round and offer congratulations so much the better.
This really tells the individual that they are really appreciated.

This might take the form of encouraging that person to give a presentation at a conference or to senior management.

Extra resource

This could be additional equipment, man power, access to information and training courses.
Make sure you explain this fully. Otherwise the sudden gaining of resource may seem as though you don’t trust them to do it alone. The result will be a lowering of motivation.


Anything that symbolises an individuals success will be appreciated.
It could be a trophy, plaque, certificate, tickets to the cinema or a show or a silly object.
The key point here is that the object triggers a memory of the performance.

Remember that all presentations should reiterate the performance and not focus on the reward.
Get the individual to talk about their success.


These are going to the pub and having a drink, paying for lunch or dinner.


We know the basics of good motivation.

  • Make sure reinforcement is immediate and not delayed
  • Reinforce frequently (usually daily)
  • It has to be linked to actual personal performance
  • The consequences must be valued by the performer

General points to consider:

  • Positively reinforce as frequently as possible, preferably daily. Keep any negative reinforcement to an absolute minimum.
  • Beware of team issues. Ideally, reward should be linked to individual performance. In a group poorer performers gain and high performers can lose out.
  • Avoid monetary rewards. The reward should be meaningful to the individual and should act as an active reminder for his or hers achievements.
  • No presentation should be given without some sort of celebration before hand. The idea is for the individual to relive the reason for gaining the award.
  • In this way, their experiences will be attached to the award. It will trigger a memory of their achievements when the award is viewed.

At the end of the day you will not be able to motivate people unless they like you. You will need to develop social skills.
Many aspects of leadership (see The Complete Leadership package) will improve likeability, for example, simple listening skills.
Talk to people about themselves and their interests not yours.

In summary

Try to give awards for individual performance.

Set the time period for the award to be reasonably short.
If its’ too long, the performance of many will just drop once it is obvious who is going to win.

Try to set a target performance that everyone can achieve in order to win the reward.
Then draw one winner from those reaching the target level.

Try to avoid big money rewards. Keep them small and make them memorable to the performance.