Wise words bring many benefits,
and hard work brings rewards. (Proverbs 12:14 NLT)
So many kids grew up getting a trophy just for showing up, they believe that’s how things are supposed to happen on the job too. You will not be surprised to learn that I see things differently. I love how many different kinds of incentives my company offers. People should be rewarded for hard work, and the incentives we offer should be challenging to earn so that 1) they truly are an incentive and not a gimme (which motivates no one), and 2) the people who earn them truly feel a sense of achievement. If the Bible says we should reward hard work, who am I to argue with that?
Benefits & rewards need to be crafted & promoted strategically. A reward that no one knows about, or that no one understands how to earn, is really no reward at all. I had this conversation with some members of my team a few days ago concerning a monthly incentive program we’ve been running for a couple of years. Was it making a difference? Were people striving to earn it, or were they pleasantly surprised to learn that they had, even if they weren’t sure how or why they had? We didn’t feel good about our answers, and so we decided it was time to take a fresh look at that incentive and bring it in line with our current priorities.
In fact, over the past few months I’ve looked at a number of different incentives we’ve been offering and, if I felt that they’d outlived their usefulness, I eliminated or repurposed them. The goal was not to cut costs, but rather to ensure that those precious incentive dollars were allocated in ways that could make a difference. After all, what’s the point of spending money on incentives if they’re not inventing the right behaviors?