#5 Rethinking Rewards

#5 Rethinking Rewards and Recognition in your Agile Organization

In our previous blogs, we discussed how to hire, how to measure performance and what an Agile leader looks like. In “Shift from “Me” Performance to “We” Performance with Agile Performance Management” we spoke about moving performance measures from a single individual to a team’s performance. How does this affect and change the way we reward or recognize members of Agile organizations?

How do you design a successful reward program that promotes teamwork, celebrates team successes, and at the same time, recognizes team members who have excelled – in their performance and/or working with others?

The three critical elements to Agile Rewards are;

  1. Celebrate often – Deloitte research shows that 20% of companies give workers performance ratings or feedback more than once per year, but only 9% adjust salary at that pace. Provide raises, bonuses, or other incentives more often than the traditional once-a-year rewards system. The sense of recognition is felt due to being acknowledged. The amount is not as relevant as the sense of satisfaction and goodwill the acknowledgment brings. Refresh employees sense of being valued at more frequent intervals even if with smaller amounts.
  2. Celebrate teams – Since rewarding a certain behavior reinforces it, it is critical to choose the behaviors called out for rewards. In this discussion chain for Agile organizations, the author emphasizes that recognizing team successes is most important. Take your client’s feedback to ascertain rewards for teams. ‘At the end of every Agile project, the project’s customer should publicize the project results (good or bad), identify the team that produced them, and include whatever superlatives he or she thinks appropriate. After all, if “Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer …,” what other recognition matters?”

Don’t forget to recognize exceptional individual performances – but don’t make it the norm. Use 360-degree feedback, Hackernoon suggests ‘Kudo cards’ and a ‘Kudo box’ for immediate feedback.

  1. Celebrate reward choices – tailor a wider range of rewards to a more diverse workforce. Patagonia is well known for offering unique rewards to its employees that are tailored to the company’s culture and the employees’ characteristics. Watch Dean Carter, Patagonia’s VP Head of HR, Finance & Legal explain how their agile rewards program has reduced training costs and turnover for them. Other examples of tailor-made perks,

And finally, celebrate failures too – Agile culture accepts failure as a step towards progress. Celebrating it reduces the pain of failing and promotes experimentation.

If you need more insight, your Peoplescape Consultant can help.