Tuesday, 1 May 2007

Rewards : Do they Motivate?

"I am been awarded as the Employee of the Year" - Ramesh
"Oh wow.. I am sure that will bring a lot of big money to you in the coming Appraisal" - Inner Ramesh
"I guess so.. but so far nothing seems to be working" - Ramesh
"Is it.. maybe then you should look for a change?" - Inner Ramesh
"Yeah I am feeling the same..." - Ramesh

OK so before you stop reading this post let me explain This was the conversation I heard on my split way to a IT Restaurant(its always full of IT professionals) today. The reason I call Ramesh and Inner Ramesh is because Its the same guy having the conversation and How I know ?? So the lines between are been edited where I was conversing.. Yeah try and read betwene lines now ;)

OK so do you really think awards motivate you? Long back I heard from a developer that we are not been awarded.. He really meant that his work was not fully appreciated... It really took time for me to understand on what he means by Appreciation.. mainly because it wasnt clear on what does appreciation mean for him... I felt the following things mean appreciation to him:
1. Monetory benefit
2. More Quality work
3. Public Appreciation
4. Hike in role
5. More responsibilities
6. More involvement

Later when the same guy was awarded with different awards.. his expectations changed.. he expected that the rewards he had been getting are going to earn him a big big appraisal, finally when the D-Day came in it was not to his satisfaction. I realised what is wrong here and I can really tell to some extent how Awards can De Motivate you:

1. Award = Money = P.A Growth = P.M Hike = Immediate change in the Salary, that is the general understanding of the average developer I feel here. You dont get a new Pay Slip with this award you get De-Motivated.

2. Award if its a temporary monetory benefit: I remember in my previous organisation I heard Maruf getting rewarded with a 20K for been the employee of the quarter.. it just took a few days to take that off from his mind and he was back to the routine again.. meaning the pressure is back and it hurts, "So what a Big Deal if they re-payed me for my hard work and anyways its Taxable". De-Motivating?

3. Award if its more Quality work : I realised that when handling the experienced Team... more quality work is considered to be as more responsibility but not more pay raise... eventually Award converts to be a De-Motivator.

4. Public Appreciation: It can motivate a few not all... specially people like Albert not sure if he is updating his profile. I remember when he was awarded in front of the 200+ crowd including employess and families, it just took a day for him to call the award a Bull Shit, Reason? that's my Duty. The second level of people want to get recognized in public If they dont get that every time they get disappointed and of course De-Motivated

5. Hike in Role : An Award drive you to think that with this award you ar bound to be the new Lead, manager, CTO, CEO or what not... wondering with the awards one receive in a lifetime in an IT company he should become the PM of the Universe ;) considering one role change with every award;)

6. More Responsibilities : These people resemble the one above, they might or might not love the work but they want more responsibilities. If more responisbilities come in its good or the Award was just a raddish.

7. More involvement in everything ;) You cant give me? I am upset.

Well this is not all... I really see more than these reaosns where Awards can De-Motivate.. eventually I feel that the Awards are seen very closely tied up with Monetory Benefits... Be it temporary or long term... I think it needs an innovation in awarding the Team individuals..

Next way to move forward - > What should an Ideal award be Like ;)