Striking the Right Balance Between Rewards and Punishment

1. While most approaches to motivation, compensation, and people management accentuate the positive, companies also embellish positive rewards with the risk of punishment.

2. As a general rule, it is unwise to take off the pressure for good individual and group performance or play down the stress, anxiety, and adverse consequences of shortfalls in performance.

3. High performing organizations nearly always have a cadre of ambitious people who relish the opportunity to climb the ladder of success, love a challenge, thrive in a performance-oriented environment, and find some competition and pressure useful to satisfy their own drives for personal recognition, accomplishment, and self-satisfaction.


4. If an organization’s motivational approaches and reward structure induce too much stress, internal competitiveness, job insecurity, and unpleasant consequences, the impact on work force morale and strategy execution can be counterproductive.

5. Evidence shows that managerial initiatives to improve strategy execution should incorporate more positive than negative motivational elements because when cooperation is positively enlisted and rewarded, rather than strong-armed by orders and threats, people tend to respond with more enthusiasm, dedication, creativity, and initiative.