Could Your Incentive System Be Hindering Performance?

RapidStart Leadership

But as this story of the Soviet Union’s most prolific athlete shows, sometimes our incentive system can do the … Could Your Incentive System Be Hindering Performance? The post Could Your Incentive System Be Hindering Performance? What if that carrot we offer actually slows them down? In the effort to motivate our teammates, we are quick to offer carrots we think will incentivize them to greater efforts.

Why Isn’t This Incentive Program Working?

Let's Grow Leaders

Incentive programs continue to be one of the most debated topics in management. Sometimes incentive programs work well. You’ve implemented a new incentive program and results go down? The post Why Isn’t This Incentive Program Working? performance Recognition bonus employee motivation incentive programs incentives recognition SPIFFsSometimes they do not. Leadership can make a difference. Have you ever experienced any of these scenarios?


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Grandma’s Law: How to Put the Power of Incentive to Work for You

RapidStart Leadership

They took something they knew I liked, such as eating dessert, and used it as incentive for me to do something I didn’t: eating vegetables. Promising me a piece of apple pie next month if I eat Brussels sprouts today is not a strong incentive. The sooner the payoff, the stronger the incentive. The post Grandma’s Law: How to Put the Power of Incentive to Work for You appeared first on.

A Creative Way to “Fix” Incentives?


Incentives have been with us for a long time. As industrial age work transitioned to knowledge work, many began to question whether or not incentives would stay effective. Teresa Amabile summarized decades of research findings on incentives and creativity when she stated that extrinsic motivators like incentives could actually have detrimental effects on tasks requiring creativity, an argument later popularized by best-selling business author Daniel Pink.

Perverse Incentive Compensation

Tony Mayo

Top Executive Coaching with Tony Mayo About Tony Mayo Newsletter Sign-up Sections Client Comments For Executive Coaches For Executives For Fun For Salespeople Quotes and Aphorisms Recommended Books Technology Tips Videos & Podcasts Popular Posts Twitter Log IX About Tony Mayo Truth or Consequences? CEO Executive Coaching Fees My Protein Shake Recipe One more question.

How to Keep Your Team Motivated – Incentives that Work

Survive Your Promotion

Today as I was flipping through my twitter feed I came across a gem of an article on the likelihood of incentive programs to backfire by Dan and Chip Heath. When you’re designing an incentive program one of your best sources of information is sitting right outside your office door. It reminded me of the old law of unintended consequences. As a manager when you act, things happen. Some of them are things you wanted – outcomes you anticipated.

Unique & Creative Employee Incentives You Could Be Offering

Strategy Driven

Check out our unique incentives to keep your employees excited to be working with you. Offering incentives has to be a big part of your budget. You just finished reading Unique & Creative Employee Incentives You Could Be Offering ! The post Unique & Creative Employee Incentives You Could Be Offering appeared first on StrategyDriven. Talent Management business management employee incentives strategydriven talent management

Cash Incentives Won’t Make Us Healthier by Alfie Kohn

Deming Institute

In this article (and the embedded presentation included below) Alfie Kohn explores how misuse of incentives, driven by a failure to understand the psychology of extrinsic and intrinsic motivation leads to failure: Cash Incentives Won’t Make Us Healthier. But it’s clearly something that incentives can’t buy. For me, appreciating how important the problems with incentives, extrinsic motivation and the behaviors those lead to (the annual performance review based bonuses etc.)

Guest Post: An Entrepreneur's Thoughts on Market Incentives & Foreign Aid

Mills Scofield

Thoughts on Charity, Foreign Aid and Market Incentives - Tanzania. Very honestly, these are all great incentives to come back to Tanzania and work. Or should everyone be a Mother Theresa, helping the neediest of the needy, with few rational incentives for oneself. This issue of charity, opportunity cost and market incentives is however more personal and has been on my mind since Nepal last year.

Weekly Round-Up: Future of the Comms Function, Internal Comms Tools for 2021, Why Vaccine Mandates are Good for Business, Bond with New Hires Remotely, Incentives to Get Employees Vaccinated


Welcome to my weekly round-up of the best-of-the-best recent leadership and communication blog posts.

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How to Keep Your Team Motivated – Incentives that Work

Survive Your Promotion

Today as I was flipping through my twitter feed I came across a gem of an article on the likelihood of incentive programs to backfire by Dan and Chip Heath. When you’re designing an incentive program one of your best sources of information is sitting right outside your office door. It reminded me of the old law of unintended consequences. As a manager when you act, things happen. Some of them are things you wanted – outcomes you anticipated.

Thinking about Roger Goodell, the NFL, and Incentives… (Insight from the Freakonomics Guys)

First Friday Book Synopsis

Our first two books were animated by a relatively simple set of ideas: Incentives are the cornerstone of modern life. If there is one mantra a Freak lives by, it is this: people respond to incentives People do “bad things” when there is an incentive to do so (e.g., “The The Cobra Effect” — The “Cobra” […]. Randy''s blog entries

Are Sales Incentives Becoming Obsolete?

Harvard Business

To motivate, manage, and reward B2B salespeople, many companies use sales incentive plans that link large commissions or bonuses to individual results metrics, such as territory quota achievement. As digital channels continue to reduce and redefine salespeople’s role in customer buying, these traditional sales incentive plans are becoming less effective at driving sales outcomes. The right sales incentive plan creates a double win.

Photo Inquiry Friday: What is the Incentive for Change?

Mike Cardus

Incentive: any factor (financial or non-financial) that enables or motivates a particular course of action, or counts as a reason for preferring one choice to the alternatives. The missing piece is incentives. Typically this incentive is thought of as financial, we have seen that financial incentives are beneficial sometimes and they are not the only incentive that can ensure your plan happens. In the past what incentives made change possible?

Sales Incentive Strategy Done the Right Way

The Kini Group

The concept is the same – in most businesses, salespeople cannot directly affect costs, yet their margin-based incentives and compensation are heavily tied to costs. Many companies stick to the traditional incentive structure of rewards for volume and margin, but my team and I argue for a sales incentive strategy based on volume and price instead. Incentives on Volume. The Failing Second Sales Incentive Strategy Element. Other Sales Incentives to Consider.

Management incentive plans from an Evidence-based Management point of view: Controversies and innovations

CQ Net - Management skills for everyone!

A management incentive plan is a compensation or rewards agreement between an employer and management. This blog post describes the latest innovation in management incentives and discusses the linkages between incentives and individual and firm performance Increasingly, organizations are changing the ways in which they compensate and reward their employees. This is true forthe relationship between the employer and management.

Midweek News – New Column in Incentive Magazine and Interview on Women’s Radio

Tanveer Naseer

First up, I’d like to share the news of a new monthly column called “Real Leadership” which I’ll be co-writing with S Max Brown for Incentive magazine. They say that March comes in roaring like a lion and that certainly seems to be the case on my end as I have two exciting news items to share with my readers. Our first piece can be found in this month’s issue and it’s called “ Real Leadership: The Power of a Compliment ”.

Incentives Don’t Help People Change, but Peer Pressure Does

Harvard Business

In a recent study conducted in a California hospital, I found that that the type of incentive matters. Communication about the initiative made it very clear that this was a one-time incentive. In other words, while the specific goal and monetary incentive was new, as was the frequency of feedback, the information workers had access to about the effects of neglecting hand hygiene, and the way compliance was monitored, was not. What motivates people to change the way they work?

Stop Bribing and Starting Leading

The Practical Leader

An author writing a book on motivational techniques asked for my thoughts: How do you feel about increased Personal Time Off as an incentive? Are there any hidden drawbacks to these incentives?

How Incentives for Long-Term Management Backfire

Harvard Business

In the five years since the advent of Dodd-Frank regulation, corporate governance groups, with their policies requiring at least half of long-term incentives to be “performance-based,” have pushed companies to replace options with multi-year, performance plans. The logical performance period for long-term incentives is one that matches those cycles. Today, four out of five S&P 500 companies use a three-year performance period in their long-term incentives.

Research: How Incentive Pay Affects Employee Engagement, Satisfaction, and Trust

Harvard Business

Offering employees performance-based incentive pay is one common approach, and it usually takes one of two forms: bonuses are offered to individuals based on assessments of their performance, or bonuses are offered as organization-wide incentives, such as profit-related pay or share ownership. Sometimes, these incentives work in ways managers intended them to. But our results regarding work intensity and individual-based incentive pay should give managers pause.

4 Ways that Businesses Can Improve Employee Satisfaction

Strategy Driven

Incentives. Effective incentive programs are a great way of increasing productivity as well as employee satisfaction. One way to fix this is to offer incentives for employees. Managing Your People business management employee benefits employee incentives strategydriven

Rewards and Recognition Done Right

Lead Change Blog

Team Dynamics incentives Leadership Organizational Dynamics RewardsNot all forms of Rewards & Recognition (R&R) are created equal. In actuality, as human beings we aren’t profoundly motivated by the tangible reward or recognition itself. It’s about the meaning behind the reward. In fact, an international employee survey by Make Their Day! found that almost 60 percent of the most meaningful recognition is free. Employees are looking for meaning, not things.

How leaders rise above the distractions

Lead on Purpose

Many companies go to great lengths to provide workers with the tools, culture and environment to work productively, but workers still form habits that are killing their … Continue reading → Leadership focus incentives platform productivityHow leaders rise above the distractions The corporate world is full of distractions.

Wells Fargo and the Slippery Slope of Sales Incentives

Harvard Business

” That speaks to why they did this in the first place: To meet sales quotas and earn incentives. In these and many other similar (but often less high-profile) cases, much of the blame gets placed on the sales goals and incentives. Many companies have great success using incentives and stretch goals to motivate the sales force and drive revenue. We called it “Is Your Sales Force Addicted to Incentives?”

WEadership Practice #4: Encourage Experimentation (and, of course, experiment yourself)

Lead Change Blog

Leadership Development boldness constraints experiment ideas incentives Innovation innovative lead Leadership management risk testingPosted in Leadership Development This post is the fourth in a series that began here summarizing the findings of a one-year study of workforce leadership. Through that process, we identified six practices next-generation leaders use to be effective; a new model of leadership we call WEadership, in a nod to its collaborative nature. The Speed of Life For [.]

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Ask the Experts: Should incentives be used to encourage fewer sick days?

Chartered Management Institute

Should incentives be used to encourage fewer sick days? Reply by Prof Beverly Alimo-Metcalfe is a Chartered Organisational Psychologist, a Patron of Women in Management and a Fellow of the British Psychological Society. You are not watching this post, click to start watching

Five Things that Matter More Than Money to Retaining Great Employees

Survive Your Promotion

Building Relationships Communication General Guide1 Hiring leadership Motivation Prioritization Rewards and Incentives Setting Goals Staff Development Team Building Tools Transition to Management Basics challenge culture Get Started Goals IT Management Management Tip New Manager Self Evaluation Team trust

The Dumpster Effect

Let's Grow Leaders

Communication Recognition Relationships Results conditinal rewards incentives leadership recognition recongition rewards My husband and I approached the hotel for a wedding. We were staying on premium points (read that, free) for which I’m grateful, so I won’t disclose the hotel brand. Parking was tight so we turned the corner. Right beside the dumpsters were several tables set up for a “recognition” luncheon for hotel staff. [.]

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Gold Star Leadership

Kevin Eikenberry

Influence Leadership Learning coaching feedback incentives recognition This picture takes me instantly back to my kidhood. The homework or test is handed back to me from the teacher with a grade, and if you did well and got really lucky, it might have one of these stars on it. The star – whether blue, green or gold, made my day. It told […].

The Why Axis: Hidden Motives and the Undiscovered Economics of Everyday Life

Kevin Eikenberry

Books Influence Leadership Learning economics incentives By Uri Gneezy and John List This is an interesting book on many levels. I bought the book, because as a leader and teacher and writer about leadership, I also want to know more about people’s motives so I can better understand how to coach, lead and influence them. This book delivers on that goal, […].

Five Things that Matter More Than Money to Retaining Great Employees

Survive Your Promotion

Hiring Rewards and Incentives Basics Building Relationships challenge Communication culture Get Started Goals IT Management leadership Management Tip Motivation New Manager Self Evaluation Team trustIt’s nearly review season, and thousands of companies are going through the annual grind of filling out evaluations, budgeting for salaries, and figuring out how to keep their best people happy and engaged at work.

Motivation Redux

Survive Your Promotion

Motivation Rewards and Incentives Setting Goals Staff Development UncategorizedToday I was reminded again that different people have different reasons for doing (or not doing) good work. It’s an easy lesson to forget when you are busy and juggling multiple priorities.

Fixing Pharma’s Incentives Problem in the Wake of the U.S. Opioid Crisis

Harvard Business

One place to start might be a fresh look at the incentive compensation structure in the pharmaceutical industry. These incentives, when combined with the strategy of developing and maximizing the rapid and widespread use of OxyContin — an old drug with a new longer-acting dose — helped catalyze a massive uptick in doctors prescribing the drug.

How do you reduce the customer churn rate?

Lead on Purpose

This model has two steps: a method that estimates the propensity for each customer to defect, and a method that targets potential churners with retention incentives. Techology business Communication customer churn rate incentives retention SaaS Guest post by Ryan Harrison. SaaS (software as a service) sales teams often focus on bringing in new clients; however, they often miss the key fact that existing clients pay more dividends in the long run.

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Would You Pay $30,000 for a Gold Star?


From incentive and recognition trade shows to compensation consultants, there are a host of industry experts ready to carefully craft the perfect program that keeps employees working happily and productively. To best leverage this principle, these experts offer just the right trinket, or they design an elegant incentive compensation solution tailored to your needs. Leadership burkus incentives motivation recognition Motivation is a big industry.

Dis-Incentives to keep things simple… | Rajesh Setty

Rajesh Setty

About Portfolio Resources eBuzz Blog Home Blog Main Page Dis-Incentives to keep things simple… RSS Feed Dis-Incentives to keep things simple… By Rajesh Setty on Mon 08 Sep 2008, 1:55 PM - View Comments I saw this notice at the TechCrunch50 conference (which is simply awesome) It says: “$500 replacement fee for lost badges. Or simply announce a powerful (dis)incentive to make sure that they ARE careful with the badges Have a great afternoon!

Laura Putnam: An interview by Bob Morris

First Friday Book Synopsis

Laura Putnam is an author and CEO of Motion Infusion, a well-being training and consulting firm that provides creative solutions in the areas of engagement, behavior change, human performance, and building healthier, happier, and more innovative organizations. Laura is a frequent keynote speaker, provides training workshops nationally and internationally and has worked with Fortune 500… Read More Laura Putnam: An interview by Bob Morris.

Is It Time For A Peer-Reviewed Bonus System?


Incentive compensation systems often seem just as likely to disappoint employees as to motivate them. Leadership bonus burkus Coffee & Power compensation equity HCL human resources incentives performance managementWhile it’s possible that the promise of more money will inspire an individual or team to work harder, it’s equally possible that the payment of such money will disturb a co-worker or colleague team who believed they worked harder but got less compensation.

Powerful People React More Unethically to Incentives

Harvard Business Review

Incentives are a potent tool for shaping human behavior, but they’re famously tricky to get right. New research , published in Basic and Applied Social Psychology, has uncovered an alarming wrinkle that complicates incentives even more: they may make powerful people less ethical. Later, the students were quizzed on what exactly the confederate said, the incentive the researcher offered, and how confident they felt about remembering the details of each.

Think Like a Freak: A book review by Bob Morris

First Friday Book Synopsis

Think Like a Freak: The Authors of Freakonomics Offer to Retrain Your Brain Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner William Morrow/An Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers (2014) How and why mastering the economic approach will produce better answers to questions and better solutions to problems In their latest book, Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner cite […].

When Your Incentive System Backfires

Harvard Business Review

How many times have you seen an incentive system produce the exact opposite of the desired behavior? Here was the height of insanity — an incentive system that succeeded only in defeating its original purpose. Frustrated citizens, lost revenue and increased costs all thanks to the incentive system and the driver's desire to maximize his individual gain. But even the best designed incentive systems can only go so far.

Is Your Sales Force Addicted To Incentives?

Harvard Business Review

less salary and more incentive pay in the form of commissions or bonuses) is not necessarily a bad idea. What is troubling about the vast majority of sales force incentives, however, is that they are tied to short-term, individual, results-focused metrics (e.g. There is a rational argument for using incentives in sales forces. Most company leaders will argue that sales force incentives have benefits, yet too often, incentives create more problems than solutions.