Reward Systems LO13675

Thomas Benjamin (
Tue, 20 May 1997 14:54:39 +0500 EST

Replying to LO13667

Roxanne Abbas wrote:

"I have come to believe through my experience that extrinsic rewards are
often counter-productive in their effect on people and the organization.
Rewards systems are generally designed as control tools, but they often
serve to limit potential or even misdirect the efforts of employees.
Still, I believe that there may be a place for them in situations where
the work itself is so routine or unpleasant that it offers no intrinsic
reward or when the job requires unusually long work hours which deprive
the employee of the pleasure of a balanced life."

IMO, If the inference is that extrinsic rewards are counter productive,
control mechanisms etc., aren't the following thoughts useful?

1) Instead of productivity linked rewards, would investments in quality
of life for the whole team(including family) be more appropriate under
conditions mentioned by Roxanne, for instance. In other words, employees
would feel cared for, rather than being manipulated.

2) Increase the scope for intrinsic rewards that are not neccessarily from
the task but from the community. I remember visiting an Ashram in
Pondichery(India) where several inmates are engaged in routine tasks, but
seem to derive their reward from the sense of community and the role of
the task in the overall purpose. (Ashrams are similar to monastries but
could be secular where the inmates choose simple life styles)

Just thoughts. Maybe, this has no relevence in a society were comparisons
are made on materialistic(extrinsic) factors.

Thomas P Benjamin


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