Role, Results and Reward mismatch

Several of us at some point in time have felt that we were treated unfairly, or passed up for a promotion, or rewarded less or not at all. Most of these come from a mismatch in our reward mechanisms. There is a fantastic article, that’s really old but so very relevant – On the folly of rewarding “A” while expecting “B”.

This article talks of the mismatch in our incentive and reward systems and the behaviours we want to develop in our co-workers, teams and managers. The article talks of how people behave in the manner that gets them maximum rewards. Logically that makes perfect sense. Now why do you feel you aren’t rewarded appropriately ? And how do you deal with it.

I have seen that there are certain culture waves at work depending on the leadership – some leadership teams like conformity, some like pomp and show, some like “real” work, some reduce all strategy, engagement and rewards to a PowerPoint slide :)…. How quickly are you able to assess the current “culture wave” ? If your role is a critical one, and your results have been good, you expect to get rewarded – and you don’t, go back and check if in the new “culture wave” is your role still critical or the results are still good as per the new norm, if either of those parameters have changed and you are caught napping, you will feel you are rewarded unjustly.

Culture waves change the context completely. It’s important to understand what’s changing and even more important to constantly evaluate if you fit the new culture wave. If you don’t feel a fitment, the best is to find another place where you feel a better fit … Culture waves last longer than your patience and frustration at work is not a good emotion.

Understand the change in culture and decide quickly if you want to go with the flow, if not, find another culture that you can flow with, swimming upstream is tiring and nearly impossible. So are you flowing or swimming upstream ?

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