The Rewards System

Updated: Jul 14

1.0 A vibrant organisation

A sleepy organisation is a stagnant organisation. A vibrant organisation is a progressive organisation. Whether the organisation is sleepy or vibrant depends upon the employees as well as the management. It's an AND gate. The employees as well as the management, both need to be vibrant for an organisation to be a progressive one.

2.0 Rewards and Awards

A healthy Awards and Reward system, integrated with the operating system helps to vibrate an organisation rhythmically. Some of these are one-time awards given for recognition of exemplary service rendered by an employee or a group of employees. Some are disbursed for sharing the sweet fruits earned on achieving an important node of a project. However, most of the awards are part and parcel of the progressive journey of the organisation and its employees, which are finalised through a standardised performance appraisal system.

3.0 Progress

The path of progress is not smooth. It passes through many nodal points. There are some major nodes and there are some minor nodes. The progress to every node would be laborious, time-consuming and may need some sacrifices. For a vibrant organisation, every day is a battle day. Battles are won, and progress is achieved. The gains and success at one node point may get neutralised by the loss at a subsequent node point. Hence final evaluation of gain and loss, the measure of long-term achievements, long term gains can be done by the organisation only after achieving the final point of the predefined progress journey or at a set periodic interval. Normally the criteria for such awards are well set, but the problem arises when reward expectations are voiced by the army of employees, randomly even when any minor progress node is achieved. Some members of the team expect rewards even after some short-term gains are achieved. Their horizon is short. Their view is myopic.

Work, Success and Reward are the branches of the same progress tree. Work leads to achievement and progress. It is natural to expect a reward but the question is, when and in what form. We will discuss here the evaluations and rewards disbursal after the achievement of the final goal in a project or those rewards declared at set intervals.

A healthy reward system supplements positivity which is the basic requirement for progress. If any negativity or negative pockets are found these are blamed on an imaginary devil called “office politics”. In reality, the root cause of negativity is the faulty awards and rewards system and correction needs to be applied there. The system creates an imaginary Goliath. And then it tries to create its version of David.

4.0 Recognise the potential of your employees

Every organisation has its leaders and followers. The organisation needs to progress and it is only through the composite and integrated action of all employees that it achieves progress. The desire to excel, as an employee, is the fuel for progress. The persons have a good sense and desire to progress and make good and engaged employees. They are the main phalanx of the pushing and fighting army of an organisation.

The overpowering desire to excel is the fuel to compete and conquer. Such employees make the leaders in the organisation.

Then some employees are aware of all the positive tools of progress but are unable to use them. Such persons are also useful to the progressive organisation as the supporting “Pillars of strength”. Their tacit knowledge of the industrial processes, and the ability to differentiate between right and wrong give them a seat of importance.

When the goal is achieved, the fruits of achievement need to be disbursed fairly. Can the organisation be fair in achieving a balance between expectations and reward disbursal? Can the rewards system help the organisation prepare for improved performance in the future journey?

5.0 Know your employees

Employees work. All categories of employees work. They carry out their assigned duties, that is “Karma”, but they are not “Karma-yogis”. Our scriptures talk about “Karmees” and “Karma-yogis”. Verse 47 of the 2nd Aadhya’s of Gita has been interpreted in many different ways by philosophers. The verse advocates that people should work without any rewards or expectations. However, such individuals are rare, and rightly, the individuals for whom success itself is the reward are known as “Karma-yogi”. They expect no other tangible reward and are said to be content with the achievement which itself is their reward. The other type of employee is, in simple terms, called “Karmees” who expect tangible rewards for their achievements. However, this is a broad differentiation and can be considered a theoretical one.

6.0 Practical scenario

“Artha Sampada”, that is, the desire to acquire wealth is the main drive horse for the “Karmees”, while “Jigyasa”, which is a desire to learn can be considered as the main drive horse for the “Karma-yogis”.

In a flourishing and thriving organisation, however, there cannot be a full-fledged “Karma-yogi” working for the organisation and achieving goals just for the purification of his soul. The expectation of reward, in today’s practical world, is natural. Rewards and Retributions are accepted by all as organisational culture and wheels for its survival.

In the Indian context, it has been noted that composite identity with “Karmee” type and “Karma-yogi” type exists in all employe