Journey of a Serial Entrepreneur

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How to get from where you are to where you want to be

Rewards and Recognitions for teams

“In the arena of human life the honors and rewards fall to those who show their good qualities in action.” – Aristotle

Your startup seems to be coming along well. You have put a lot of fundamental building blocks into place and motivation in the work place is high. Along the course of the year you will have performance reviews and will monitor closely your progress in reaching stipulated goals. Through the course of time, high performers will appear as well as those who are not pulling their weight. To tackle this situation, startups have to take a look at their performance reviews as well as their “Rewards & Recognition” plan closely. This is something which is new to me. The need for this sort of planning appeared when I was part of teams and noticed that high performers were not being suitably rewarded compared to those who had mediocre performances. Such plans are always passed over as they cause substantial ruffling of feathers in a team. Over time I have learned that this sort of competition for rewards and recognition is healthy for an organization and a team to push themselves further.

Firstly the work that your team members are doing for the business is an investment. In return for this investment they are hoping for a substantially higher return given the amount of risk associated. Thus in the first critical meeting we have allocated who gets what given that this is a start up enterprise. For example there are 4 team members who get together to start an online business which would be selling used textbooks to university students. The equity in the company is decided to be spread equally. Everyone is delegated tasks and specific goals in areas of management, sales, technical and customer service. Apart from those tasks everyone is always on the lookout for used books sources and channels to sell them through (being part of a startup company is as easy as it seems). At this stage I have found it helpful to allocate:

1. Overall team performance rewards.

2. Individual performance rewards and recognition.

These should be discussed and agreed upon by all team members. I have made the mistake in the past of personally allocating the rewards and recognitions to the teams I was leading. That didn’t work well. You have to get all your team members together and ask them what sort of rewards are important to them and what they think would be appropriate benchmarks and percentages. So make everyone a part of this process and you will churn out a winning rewards and recognition plan by your team mates for your team mates.

Team performance can be set at a target to sell 1000 used text books in the month of Jan. For every additional book sold the entire team will share 5% of the profit according to equity split.

For individual performance those who perform exceedingly well on their delegated tasks as well as surpass their monthly sales quota will receive an additional 20% of the profit from the surplus of the books they sold. Along with that the top performer’s efforts will be celebrated courtesy of the rest of his team members.

I have been amazed at how effective this has been in teams where it has been executed correctly. There are a couple of team configurations which make such rewards and recognitions difficult to deploy. However what this article hopes to get across is that rewards and recognition are essential in creating a culture in your organization which celebrates outstanding performance. It makes those individual who are not pushing themselves hard enough to do so and creates an almost electric environment when things are moving well and fast.

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2 Responses

  1. […] Related article: Rewards and Recognition for teams […]

  2. […] when creating winning teams. To read more about rewards and recognition strategies please click here.To wrap it all up, first get to know who you are – then look for individuals who excel on the 8 […]

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