Recognition and Rewards

Part of the team development process involves recognizing and rewarding desirable behavior. The original plans concerning ways in which to reward people are developed during the Develop Human Resource Plan process. It is important to recognize that a particular reward given to any individual will only be effective if it satisfies a need which is valued the most by that individual. Award decisions are made, formally or informally, during the process of managing the project team through project performance appraisals (Section 9.4.2.2). Cultural differences should be considered when determining recognition and rewards. For example, developing appropriate team rewards in a culture that encourages individualism can be difficult.

Only desirable behavior should be rewarded. For example, the willingness to work overtime to meet an aggressive schedule objective should be rewarded or recognized; needing to work overtime as the result of poor planning should not be rewarded. Win-lose (zero sum) rewards that only a limited number of project team members can achieve, such as team member of the month, can hurt team cohesiveness. Rewarding behavior that everyone can achieve, such as turning in progress reports on time, tends to increase support among team members.

People are motivated if they feel they are valued in the organization and this value is demonstrated by the rewards given to them. Generally, money is viewed by most as a very important aspect of any reward system. Most project team members are motivated by an opportunity to grow, accomplish, and apply their professional skills to meet new challenges. Public recognition of good performance creates positive reinforcement. A good strategy for project managers is to give the team all possible recognition during the life cycle of the project rather than after the project is completed.

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