Tangible and Intangible Rewards

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Tangible and Intangible Rewards

By | March 2002
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Working in-groups may sometimes be time-consuming and unproductive, but there are also some tangible and intangible rewards that we benefit from. When you think of tangible rewards, you think of something you can see and feel. In a group environment, tangible rewards like merchandise and travel, the target group has the opportunity to see them and feel them and therefore form an emotional attachment to them. Cash awards do not provide the long-lasting effects of merchandise since cash awards are usually applied against debt and are quickly forgotten. Merchandise awards are tangible and provide much better long-term motivation. Within the group, however, we get other tangible rewards such as awards or certificates for accomplishing a project. Intangible rewards in group work far outwiegh the tangible rewards of group work. I say this because there is much more you can learn when working in a group. Everyone comes to the table with a different background and different personal and professional work experience. When working in a group environment and a project is completed, you get a sense of accomplishment. Group members have a feeling of pride for mastering an assignment. Visible, public reinforcement to individuals and teams for their contributions and role modeling of knowledge-sharing behavior can also be a strong incentive for people to excel in a group environment. Recognition lies in being perceived as an expert by employees and management. Working in a group also relieves some of the pressure off of an individual. In other words the responsibility for a project does not fall all on one persons shoulders. The work can be evenly distributed among members so that not one person is overwhelmed with work. Many times when working in a group, you get to see different perspectives of issues and can better use your skills to accomplish the goal that you are working on.
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