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Too often what we think we're rewarding, and what we are, are not same. Too often we've set up reward systems that create work problems we face. And too often, behaviors that exasperate us are ones we're unknowingly reinforcing.
Say a local pizza company decides to reward drivers for on-time delivery. Sounds good, but in actuality, they'd be rewarding speeding and reckless driving. Here's an example from Management Review, "A freight company that based its reward system on number of packages shipped thought productivity was way up until an internal audit revealed that only 45% of containers were shipped full."
How about Texas school system making recent news? It thought it was rewarding teachers for raising test scores. But, it was rewarding numbers over methods. So, one school held back 75% of ninth graders so lower achieving students would not participate in tenth grade tests, and school's staff was rewarded for achieving their goal.
If you want to be winning at working and stop Workplace 911 behaviors from affecting your results, do two things: first, model behavior you expect from others. Respect comes from giving respect and trust from giving trust. Second, look beyond desired outcomes to behaviors that lead to them. Reward that behavior, since whatever gets rewarded gets done. When you find and reward right behaviors, you'll get right results.
(c) 2005 Nan S. Russell. All rights reserved.
Sign up to receive Nan's free eColumn, Winning at Working, at http://www.winningatworking.com. Nan Russell has spent over twenty years in management, most recently with QVC as a Vice President. Currently working on her first book, Nan is a writer, columnist, small business owner, and instructor.