Recognition and Rewards

Posted on May 12, 2009 by


What should be done when good behavior occurs to encourage it? Recognition and Rewards is a tool of the Develop Project Team process listed in the fourth edition PMBOK®. The purpose of recognizing and rewarding desirable behavior is to encourage that type of behavior in the future. This extends into our everyday life—far beyond the boundaries of project management. It is most effective when people know what behaviors will be rewarded, rather than be surprised that something they did happened to deserve a reward. For some people, the promise of a reward can be a strong motivator. For example, if a team is told that if they finish the project early each person can have an extra week of vacation, that could be a strong motivator. However, it should be kept in mind that what is rewarding to one person may not be rewarding for another person. A highly-driven person might not want an extra week of vacation as it could interfere with their work goals. Similarly, a shy individual may dread the thought of being publically recognized for something they have done. In order to be fair and prevent frustration, the rewarded behavior should also be within the control of the person or team. Lastly, the reward or recognition should be appropriate for the behavior. Heroic efforts deserve a greater reward than doing basic job requirements. Also see the earlier posting of Develop Project Team Process (posted May 4, 2009).