How To Use Rewards 

Definition of Reward

One company had clear rewards for selling software, delivering projects and performing work. It was so clear the company distinguished performance. They rewarded people based on how they did comparing them to their peers. This stimulated internal competition. However, it blurred the thin line separating what customers wanted and what defined performance. Sales kept busy in selling software – not support and services. This distanced customers. The company’s performance faltered. Competitors stepped in to take advantage of the market when customers left. Now the business unit manager pressed hard to bring changes. He wondered if he was late.


The Ranking

It’s good to rank people on how they do. But this needs to help those who lag so they aim higher next time. It’s not to create rivalry. Most units don’t make it clear to people. Once rivalry sets in, it makes people tense. Once people are tense, their performance drops. It’s similar to a tennis match in the 5th set tiebreaker. The tense player makes more mistakes and loses his impetus. Same applies to work. The idea is to keep people calm and poised for success

The Sport

Sometimes rewards need not drive people to their goal. When you look at high performing tennis players, they move into the “zone” at will. If you ask them how they do it, they can’t explain well. If people focus too much on rewards, they lose the big picture. One needs to enjoy the job so rewards come automatically. So the business unit manager has to craft reward programs carefully. People need rank to know how they do. However, reviews and suggestions need to come faster, often with direction to change course quickly.

The Final Curtain

The business unit manager needs to build quick career paths and tie rewards not just to performance but also the next step in people’s career. Often, people don’t know their coordinates. If they do well, they need to know early. If they don’t do well, they need direction to change course. So it’s like improving your serve in tennis. If the coach tells you too late before a crucial match, you can’t apply it. You’d become worried about losing if you don’t. The business unit manager needs to think like a tennis coach when crafting a reward program for his unit. His people will then create stellar wins in the market, he never thought could happen. Now, go on and take your performance to the next level. You will win.

Written by Suresh Iyengar, P.E., President, Business Unit Execution LLC––“Explosive Business Coaching Houston Results For Small Business”. Want even faster results? Are you ready to learn? Call 281.410.5375 and speak to your Profitability Coach Houston today!

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