• Home
  • >
  • Blog
  • >
  • How and When to Reward People and Teams … and When NOT to.


Approx. Reading Time:  minutes

How and When to Reward People and Teams … and When NOT to.

… Or should we even reward folks at all?

After being bombarded with the ‘everyone earns a ribbon’ strategy, a little balance may be in order.

First, here are some simple formulas:

  • 1E=1R ($1 worth of effort = $1 worth of pay/reward)
  • 2E=2R ($2 or more worth of effort = $2 or more worth of pay/reward)
  • And so on …

When someone does their job, the system works as designed. When someone does more than their job, they can be rewarded proportionately. Therein lies the beauty of a meritocracy.

Example: Joe’s job is to sweep the floors at the research lab. He does his job and receives basic rewards. When Joe solves the missing formula that cures cancer in between sweeping and mopping … Joe is likely deserving of additional rewards.

Go, Joe!

Simple stuff, right? But what about when Joe (or Ethel or Hector, etc.) are part of a team? How and when should teams be rewarded effectively? Keep reading …

For Teams, remember:


Our formula works great for people, pets, and of course, teenagers.

But it also applies beautifully with groups of performers, a/k/a Teams.

First, remember that personal rewards should strengthen the person.

Similarly, Team rewards should strengthen the Team.

  • Team Rewards: pay raises, flex time, group recognition, bonuses, and new opportunities can be based on the entire Team’s effort.
  • Individual Rewards: same as Team rewards but at an individual level. This rewards the person who pulls more than their own weight on the team but does not reward the slacker.

Bundling individual and Team rewards can further enhance and strengthen both the individual AND the Team.

And all of it should be based on 1E=1R.

Meritocracy for the win!

Who else in your network needs to see this?  

Mike McKenna

About the author

Mike McKenna is the founder and president of TEAM Solutions. He helps public and private sector leaders improve their outcomes before, during and after a planned event or unplanned crisis.

Please contact Mike via the Contact page.

You might also like

  • {"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

    Find your next solution by browsing The Ultimate Leadership Guide