Changing Corporate Culture: Reward Success

Step 4 – Reward Success

Probably the most widely debated component of the cultural change process is rewarding success. Simply put, the goal in step 4 is to make a direct correlation between the desired culture of the organization and rewards for being apart of that culture. In the example of building a company culture that embraces business development this could include attributing a portion of annual raises to meeting business development goals or having a bonus directly linked to those goals. The important thing to note is that the rewards must be linked to individual expectations (Step 2: Defining Expectations).

Not just money
Rewards do not always have to be monetary in nature, although I have found that bonuses and salary increases are the easiest for employers to implement and for employees to understand. Title changes, parking spaces, and office locations are all examples of non-monetary rewards that I have seen to be motivational.

Why reward success
Organizations usually have pioneers that forge ahead into the new culture rapidly after they understand where management is moving. The importance of rewards is to ensure that they, and everyone else, understand that there is personal benefit to adapting to the new culture. Without step 4 firms often begin the cultural change process but wonder why it is never fully embraced. The reason this happens is that, with time, pioneers will realize they are doing the extra effort but are not being compensated for that effort. By ensuring a clear understanding of this correlation you are ensuring the long-term success of your cultural change.

Culture Change Motivations
Managers often want to believe that cultural change which benefits the company will motivate their employees to active participation in the change. The reality is that, while this should be correct, human nature dictates that this is not usually the case. Through the study of behavior modification we can see that one of the most powerful ways to change behavior is to reward the specific desired behavior. This is reflected in step 4 by rewarding individuals that achieve success that aligns with the new corporate culture.

Four Steps to Changing Corporate Culture
Executive Summary
Step 1 – Educate and Encourage
Step 2 – Define Expectations
Step 3 – Acknowledge & Celebrate Success
Step 4 – Reward Success//
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