Monetary Incentives

Ask Aubrey:

Hi Aubrey !!

My name is Scott, I am a human performance technologist. My question is:

Bill Abernathy in his book Managing Without Supervising suggested that R+ systems without monetary incentives are less likely to be maintained by the clients.

Once you have trained managers in R+ and helped them with their feedback system, how often did a non-monetary R+ program fade after a period of time, and what did you learn to do to help sustain it on a global or structural level?



Remember, any system will survive as long as the behaviors supporting it are positively reinforced. You need to constantly check to make sure that you have effective reinforcers.

To the extent that you can build natural reinforcers into your processes, i.e., make them save time and effort for the performers, you increase survivability. In addition, if you can make the accomplishments visible to the performers and connected to their behaviors, these systems and processes can last for a very long time.

There is no question that monetary consequences for valuable accomplishments also increase survivability but if you don’t monitor this system it may not last either. Like any other positive reinforcer, money is not a reinforcer under all conditions or to all performers. Any system that has static reinforcers will eventually lose some of its effectiveness.

Your problem requires a longer answer so let’s keep the discussion going but I hope this will be helpful to you as you continue to use behavioral principles in your management.

Let me know if I can be of help in the future.

— Aubrey

Posted by Aubrey Daniels, Ph.D.

Aubrey is a thought leader and expert on management, leadership, safety and workplace issues. For the past 40 years, he has been dedicated to helping people and organizations apply the laws of human behavior to optimize performance.