Rewards are a real challenge for change agents. It can seem all so logical but can be so hard to do well. In our databases, it remains one of the highest risk factors in change. And yet, it can do so well at creating change commitment.
So, here are 4 ways agents can make rewards work.
1. Exceed people's expectations
Satisfaction is often the gap between what you receive and what you expected. In other words Satisfaction = Perception – Expectation. Often, you can be successful when you “pleasantly surprise people”.
2. Give rewards as soon as possible after the result
This tends to be far more motivational than delayed rewards. Compare this with the annual bonus process where you could complete a project in February and get a reward the following January.
3. Make the rewards appropriate
I don’t know about you but there is still something about receiving a handwritten “Thank You” card. Giving appropriately small rewards can be very powerful.
4. Make the rewards feel personal
In our experience, a successful reward isn't something the organisation has given but rather something the sponsor has given. This makes the reward feel so much more motivational.
This post is an abridged extract from 'Four ways change agents can make reward strategies more effective in change' which appeared in our newsletter in September 2009