Counter Rewarding : Are You Guilty?

Stewards Log: 14:03:03:04:2010

I was just reading (ok, listen to an audio book) and as they described certain peoples reactions to their own culture and how they react to certain tenants, it got me thinking about corporate reward structures.  You know that ones: $20 Mil to the CEO for keeping business the same over the last 5 years, $5 Mil for only letting it get a little worst…

In the restaurant business, we would frequently have daily contest to sell certain products, either due to a promotion or over stock that needed to be moved.  So we would instruct the duty manager to offer some sort of reward to get the products moving.  Staff were easy to get motivated due to their competitive nature….but that would usually only last for an hour or two until they started to loose interest.

Why you ask?   Well it had to do with the reward structure – some trinket, logo’d product, a small amount of cash, ect.  It just was not worth it.  Say we had too many chicken breasts thawed one day and we needed to sell them, in most cases a chicken meal is less expensive than a steak meal, or a pork meal, and so on.  Well after an hour of selling lower cost items, and getting tipped less due to lower bills it really does not take a lot of intelligence to say “Hey, I’m going to run my own contest…how much more money can I make myself today?”

Does your rewards system actually produce the result that you want? (Be Objective)

What is your primary goal?

What do your staff typically do?


Does it actually encourage your staff to do what you want?

Probably Not! But you can build a system that does.

What does your staff already do habitually that you can build on?

What already get’s them excited that you can build on as a better reward?
I hope I’ve given you something to think about.

Dave Williams


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