Performance Management
Employee performance
Employee performance, you reward them, right?

Are you still trying to motivate employees the old way

If you want to increase employee performance, you reward them, right? Bonuses, commissions, etc.

What Dan Pink shares in this Ted video is nothing less than ground-shaking for the business world. His message is a complete reversal of what many business leaders assume is true: that bigger rewards lead to higher performance.

It is a carrot philosophy based on the hope that employees will respond to positively to increasing rewards. This belief is deeply ingrained in many organisational structures and management approaches.



If you’re relying on a succession of carrots to keep employees going, you’re going to end up with a bunch of unmotivated, demoralized, under-performing drones. Why? Because the carrot and stick philosophy robs them of the internal drive to perform.

Dan Pink sees this internal drive as the result of three factors: autonomy, mastery and purpose. People want control of their own destiny. They want to be challenged and find fulfillment in getting better at something. And they want to feel they are making a difference.

Drop the old notions that bigger financial incentives will lead to greater gains

If you are still trying to motivate employees the old way – through a system of rewards – you are probably frustrated and failing. It’s time to wake up. Drop the old notions that bigger financial incentives will lead to greater gains.

Instead focus on organisational alignment – this is the glue for achieving better performance.

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Experienced senior executive, both at a strategic and operational level, with strong track record in developing, driving and managing business improvement and development and change management. International experience from management positions in Denmark, Germany and Switzerland View full profile

Glen Andersen

May 27, 2013 12:30 pm

Torben: Good post! I am a big fan of Daniel Pink and Drive: The Suprising Truth About What Motivates Us.

I have developed an employee motivational strategy that is focused on Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose in my recent ebook “The Optimum Manager”. It is implemented through the employee performance management process by changing the fundamental measure of performance from the quantity and quality of time spent on the job to the number of Tasks (assignments) that can be completed correctly over a given review interval.

I have experienced tremendous success in my own small engineering consulting firm.

I would be interested in any comments you or other readers of this blog might have with respect to this particular implementation of the Dan Pink motivational ideas.

Glen R. Andersen, ScD, PE

Charles Cox

June 13, 2013 5:06 pm

Great post! Thought I would include the following video link to complement…

“How Motivation is Driven by Purpose – and not Monetary Incentives ” |

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