Motivation: REWARDING FAILURE

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Action In Pursuit Of

                                         

Meaningful Goals

                                                                               

Delivers Success

                                                                             

     Much has been made in motivational literature about the wisdom of rewarding those employees who have tried and failed—solving, launching, selling, creating, producing, developing, inventing—cited often as a best practices reverse-psychology hallmark of many of the human resource management approaches used by the same big business catastrophes that have dragged down the entire global economy 

     The point of this thinking is that by mollycoddling people who can’t cut the mustard, these non-performers will inevitably produce more positive results when you continually reward them with an “A” for effort. After all, shouldn’t business be like T-Ball or Cub Scouts where everybody who does a good job of trying gets rewarded? After all, rewarding employees for failed efforts that are born of sincerity may produce failures, but will also produce more sincere efforts, which will presumably and eventually pay off in success. Right? 

     Well, I don’t buy it. It’s non-productive circular reasoning. We’re not talking about sensitivity here. Insensitive bosses don’t survive long term. We’re talking about making businesses work. Period. I believe when you reward people for failing, you are simply prompting them to produce more failure. Don’t you think? I mean, it seems to me it makes more sense to instead reassess the goals attached to the challenges at hand.

     Are goals clearly defined? Specific? Flexible? Realistic? Due-dated? If they’re not ALL of these things, they’re not goals; they’re wishes. Wishes don’t get things done. Action gets things done. Real, meaningful goals that are specific, flexible, realistic and due-dated are the ones that trigger action. Action in pursuit of meaningful goals delivers success. 

     Huh? Well, consider that if perhaps the carrot is closer, the rabbit will actually reach it and then get a commensurate reward (a bite of carrot) vs. having to try getting to a far-away, out-of-reach carrot, the pursuit of which serves only to exhaust and stress out the rabbit, nes pas?

     It is a far more productive practice to reward steady small steps to achieving success with incremental (small, frequent) rewards along the way. It’s easy to say the sky’s the limit, and set off for the sky, but whatever is “easy to say” is rarely productive, and almost never is “reaching the sky” realistic.

     Except for those few wondrous gifts to humankind—like the Wright Brothers, Mother Theresa, Thomas Edison, Helen Keller, Einstein—most of us will not achieve their levels of the impossible dream in our lifetimes.

     We can, though, most assuredly achieve our own levels of the impossible dream by scaling ourselves and our employees back to manageable steps and by chunking up tasks to within the range of reason. And to then appreciate and reward accordingly. “One small step…” proclaimed the first moon-landing Astronaut.

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Input welcome anytime: Hal@TheWriterWorks.com (”Businessworks” in the subject line) or comment below. Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals, good night and God bless you! halalpiar  # # # 

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