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- Jeb Riordan, Editor, PROJECTmagazine
How to Reward Team members For $20 (or Less!) Print
There is no point in giving rewards that will offend the recipients.
Similarly, you will not gain any benefit from giving rewards in an ineffective manner. An effective rewards programme requires that you select rewards that are appropriate for the recipients, are clearly tied to specific behaviours that you want to encourage, and are presented in a way that maximizes the benefits to the organization. Four Tips to Choosing the Right Reward

1. Choose a reward that suits the person
2. Choose a reward that suits the accomplishment
3. Tie the reward to the accomplishment
4. Give the reward in a timely fashion

You should maximize the return on every reward dollar you spend by ensuring the rewards deliver direct and indirect benefits in a cost-effective way.
Direct beneifts are the motivating and supporting effects that rewards have on recipients."

This is how Kevin concludes this easy to read, thought provoking book on recognition and reward.

Kevin begins the book by discussing the pros and cons of rewarding.
Why reward?
he asserts that by given rewards it shows that the giver recognizes and appreciates that the recipient has worked harder, changed for the better, and accomplished something out of the ordinary.
He suggests that many people are strongly motivated by knowing what concrete (tangible) rewards are available to them for good performance. That these people will focus on the reward, and push themselves towards great achievements. Some are motivated by money, but many are motivated by just knowing that there is a desirable, tangible reward waiting for them if they excel.

He reminds us that some critics of reward programmes do not like the fact that rewards highlight superior performance. By its very nature, giving out a reward distinguishes between individuals and praises one over another. To some people, this differentiation is unfair, and leads to fears of favouritism, manipulation, and inequality.

There is also controversy over the size of rewards. Some people become concerned that rewards could be too small or too large, and cause problems either way.

A small reward could be seen as an insult to someone working unusually hard to achieve a superior performance. Such an individual may feel that he or she has made significant personal sacrifices. Giving someone with these feelings a reward that he or she perceives as being too small could cause insult.

Rewards that are seen as being too large can also cause conflicts within a team. It is obvious that rewards seen by other team members as being disproportionate could breed jealousy and give the appearance of favouritism. What is often surprising, however, is that such rewards may also have a negative impact on the performance of the recipient.
Kevin gives fictituous examples to illustrate these ideas.

He also discusses team awards versus individual rewards.
- Group Rewards. A reward that is earned by a group of people working together as a team. The reward will be shared by the entire team.
- Open Rewards. An individual reward that is made available to everyone meeting specific criteria. Those who meet the criteria can each earn the reward for themselves.

The over-riding theme through the book is giving rewards successfully. Kevin says that to do this, one must...
1. Agree with the recognition process
2. Agree that the recipient's positive behaviours or accomplishments deserve recognition
3. Agree with the method of recognition
4. Be comfortable giving the recognition.

He then discusses four tips to choosing the right reward.
1. Choose a reward that suits the person
2. Choose a reward that suits the accomplishment
3. Tie the reward to the accomplishment
4. Give the reward in a timely fashion

Once you have decided to give a reward, your next task is to find one that meets the four success criteria.
The rewards in this book have been grouped into a number of categories:
- Ways of saying Thank You,
- Food and Drink,
- Certificates,
- Events and Entertainment,
- Trophies,
- Giftware and Gift Certificates,
- Time Off, and
- Negative Rewards.

This short book describes a step by step approach to identifying the most appropriate means of saying 'Thank you'. It suggests many and various ways to show appreciation for a job well done that cost nothing, or for sure, as the title suggest, no more than 20$

The right token expressed in the right way can be more effective than a monetary reward. And this entertaining book gives useful guidelines about finding the right reward.
So, if you want to keep your internal people happy so that they in turn delight your external customers, and you don't have a clue where to begin, read this book.

ISBN (paperback edition): 1-895186-04-8
ISBN (PDF edition): 1-895186-09-9

 

Kevin Aquanno's book "How to Reward Team members For $20 (or Less!)" can be ordered online http://www.mmpubs.com/aguanno/book1.html
And if you do go there, maybe you can find some free templates and project management related documents...

2004 © Jeb Riordan. All rights reserved.

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