Leaders can maintain motivation, energy and enthusiasm for changed behaviours by celebrating milestones and periodic
wins. Taking the time to recognise team members’ participation and effort during a change initiative will keep
momentum and boost staff morale.
Team members are more inclined to adopt behaviours that are rewarded and abandon those that are discouraged.
Look to reward and recognise behaviours and accomplishments that are consistently
aligned with the changes that are required, and also in alignment with the organisational values.
Most organisations have organisational values posted; for example: respect, integrity, outcome focused or responsible.
These are not to be confused with core values (as discussed earlier), but do allow expectations to be set and managed.
One effective tool for sustaining behaviours and locking them in is reward.
Reward systems need to have meaning and hold value for the team member. Align individual rewards to your
team members’ individual motivational values to increase effectiveness. We've said it before; but for reinforcement:
change happens one person at a time.
Generally there are two types of rewards:
- Extrinsic - This type of reward is a tangible award, physically given to a person
for accomplishing something. Examples could be: morning teas, certificates, pats-on-the-back,
a gift, etc.
- Intrinsic - This type of reward is an intangible award of recognition, achievement or
a conscious satisfaction. Because they are intangible, they often arise from within the person who is doing
the activity or behaviour. Intrinsic rewards generally relate to the person's core values and touch a
solidly held belief. A researcher once facetiously remarked that there was a social commitment gene that
some people have…that allows them to commit to action that has no reward for themselves (perhaps an example
of an intrinsic feel-good reward). Have a look at the core values handout and see if it is useful for your
Leaders need to plan for a variety of rewards and should ideally start out small and build momentum as the change is delivered.
Ensure that you match the reward to the effort and do not ‘over-reward’ as this can be seen as false or patronising
to team members leading to further distrust and resistance.
Acknowledging the incremental efforts, such as participation in workshops, forums and training is
as important as celebrating the big milestones.
Recognise the end of a change initiative or a milestone on the path, and celebrate the success of the change. Celebration
assists team members to identify that the change has been completed and provides a symbol to make complex issues more
understandable. It is a way to thank them for their efforts throughout the initiative. The celebration should be upbeat
and positive, as it will create a lasting impression that future change will also be successful.
- Reminds you of the goal you set and why you set it in the first place.
- Reminds you that a focused change approach and goal-setting process works.
- Motivates your team to continue delivering good work.
- Unifies the team around a positive outcome.
- Positions you and your team to concentrate on the positive rather than the negative.
- Builds momentum for you and your team.
- Allows you to connect with colleagues and co-workers, building rapport and good-will.
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