Dictionary meaning of reward is something given or received in return for a service, metric, hardship etc.

In typical reward system one celebrates success of an individual or team based on their hard work or value added to organisation (usually one is rewarded for success). Ceremonies are held and art effects are presented in form of monetary items, recognition certificates and well done emails. In reward communication these keywords are mostly used “going extra mile”, “proactive behavior”, “going out-of-the-way”, “excellent team work” etc.

I understand that reward system plays important role in organisation’s culture and shows that people are treated with respect and valued for their contribution. High point in these ceremonies  are usually individual or a team getting the reward but not the steps that one took to be rewarded (I understand that there are small speeches and emails. But do you really remember who was the top performer in your team 6 months ago? and why they received the reward (ah ha.. a moment for thought perhaps).

This idea has been flickering in my mind that reward system and understanding system are interlinked with each other and by combining these systems we can help teams better understand about the actual behavior that led someone to get rewarded.

Some of the basic characteristics of combined system can be (I call this “Understanding System”)

  • Better recognition and radiation of non-formal learning
  • Spaced learning rather than cramped learning
  • Increased motivation
  • Acceleration in idea generation
  • Increased workplace satisfaction and talent retention

I am interested to know what reward system you have in-place for your team and how is it helping your team to learn, grow and understand the actual behavior that led to the reward?