What gets rewarded gets done
A Psychological and behavioral explanation
The nature of human behavior is, humans do things to satisfy their unmet needs in some way or the other. These needs may vary from the very basic such as hunger to reach the greater heights of life. Whatever it may be, when he realizes that some actions he takes lead to satisfy his needs, he tends to do them in a superior way, expecting the satisfaction of his needs in a greater manner. On the other hand, if a person perceives that the things he does are unable to take him to a state of satisfied on some need or want, and then it's obvious that he does not want to continue the same action.
An activity of any kind, a person is involved in takes that person to a result. The result may or may not be desirable. That depends on the activity and the way that particular person performs that activity. The activities done by a person and the way they are done can be collectively known as the behavior. Therefore, what leads to a result is the behavior. The needed results are led by the right behavior. The right behavior here is an identified set of activities and the way they should be performed, which at the end take the person to the needed result.
The two ideas: need-satisfying urge of humans' and behavior leads to results', forms the following idea. An individual may act in a certain way to satisfy his unmet needs, but that behavior brings a result, which may be satisfaction of that need itself or satisfaction of that need with something else. If that particular behavior brings some other result in addition to the need satisfaction itself, then it's obvious that encouraging that behavior by means of ensuring greater need satisfaction yields more results.
The above-discussed ideas make up the background for our topic, what gets rewarded gets done'. To get done something (i.e. to achieve a result) there has to be a right behavior. Rewards can satisfy some needs of an individual encouraging the right behavior. From that we can say rewarding can lead to the needed result. Management point of view
An organization is a setup of goals to be reached, and resources to be utilized in order to reach those goals. Human resource can be stated as the most important and valuable resource among all the resources possessed by an organization. Without the human creativity no organization is able to reach its goals, though how sufficiently other resources are present. It's also important to recognize that an organization can reach its goals through collective result achievements of individuals.
The importance of human resource to an organization and reward, behavior and result concept' is the foundation to the greatest management principle, What gets rewarded gets done'. In brief, it's as follows. An organization has its goals to reach. For that it needs certain results achieved by its staff. Workers are needed to follow a certain behavior in order to achieve results. The desired behavior can be achieved by rewarding them. Both the organization and its staff are benefited. Meeting organizational objectives, whilst simultaneously fulfilling the personal needs of individuals, results in a harmony of intent and achievement for the organization and it's staff (Penelope, 2001).
In an organizational context, there is another important aspect to be looked upon. Without a motivated staff, it's quite difficult for an organization to achieve the intended goals. Rewarding is a key factor for motivating employees. Fidler (1997) suggests that rewards are symbolically important in organizations, as far as motivation is considered. But according to Whitaker (1995), motivation, even by means of rewarding, is a process to harness the potential of individuals, rather than to control or prescribe their behavior.
Rewarding for results in practice
Rewarding for achieve required results is done within three major steps in an organization.
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