Employee Incentives by Brooks Mitchell, Ph.D., Snowfly Incentives
We are considering implementing an incentive program for our collection agents. We have found a vendor who will provide a large catalog of reward merchandise and run the program for us. What do you think?
Beware! You could be headed for a train wreck! Consider the following story!
A Tale Of The Knives,
Once upon a time, Ralph, a well intended manager wanted to reward his high performing employees with an incentive reward program. So, he enlisted the aid of a vendor who sold him a beautiful glossy catalog of prizes his employees could win if they met their goals. Luther, a participant in the incentive program, achieved his goals and was allowed to choose any prize he wanted at the $200 dollar level in the catalog. The only item in the catalog that remotely interested Luther was a set of 6 steak knives. He thought it would be nice to use the knives at his annual beer and bar-b-que party in four weeks.
Luther was irritated when the knives arrived in the mail 5 weeks later. But, he was even more aggravated when he discovered the identical knives could have been purchased on Amazon for $80 Then, he became enraged when his monthly paycheck was short by $60 dollars to cover the taxes on the $200 knives.
Luther complained to Ralph and tried with no avail to return the knives for the $200 he now felt entitled to receive. Ralph became angry with Luther and felt he was an ungrateful employee. The problem was not resolved and festered for several weeks.
The moral of the story
A well intended incentive reward program produced negative results. And, worst of all, Ralph now has to deal with a disgruntled employee with a set of knives.
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