As a manager, describe how you would set up a reward and evaluation system for a group project at work.

How you would set up a reward and evaluation system for a group project at work

Discussion Question: Think about how hard you’ve worked in your group over the past few weeks.  As a manager, describe how you would set up a reward and evaluation system for a group project at work. How would you tie this into the organizations high ethical standards? How would your measure this?  Can it be measured? Be specific and give examples – do not regurgitate the textbook – tell me in your own words.

As a manager, I would implement a team-based reward and evaluation system for my employees.  The ability to work as a member of a team (whether that is your overall organizational team or your program team) is critical to the overall organization’s ability to meet goals and to support mission and vision.

I would also implement an individual based evaluation system so that I can provide feedback to my employees on strengths and opportunities for improvement; however, I would avoid individual-based reward systems as many times employees become competitive with each other to gain increased compensation/rewards – but in a way that undermines overall teamwork and long-term productivity (Delves, 2011).

A critical part of the team-based reward system must be the goals – goals must be set for the team and the team must be clear about the expectations.  The team goals should be written using the SMART philosophy.  The SMART acronym stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-based.  Zahorsky (2016) tells us:

  • Specific – Goals must be well defined and focused.  The more focused your energies, the more power you can generate toward achieving the goal.
  • Measurable – Goals must be measurable – measurable goals will have concrete numbers in them.  These numbers will help the team to know if they are on track to achieve the goal.  The specific numbers in the goal also remove some of the subjectivity for the manager with regard to whether or not the goal was met.  Zahorsky (2016) suggests that an effective way to keep a goal in front of the team is to have a “goal” white board in the office to serve as a visual reminder to the team of the goal they are working to achieve.  Based upon our discussions about virtual teams, this goal white board may also need to be virtual.
  • Attainable – Goals must be set within reach.  Zahorsky (2016) suggests “dream big and aim for the stars but keep one foot firmly based in reality.”  One way to do this is to check with your industry association to get ideas about growth that can be realistically attained.
  • Relevant – Achievable goals must be based on current conditions and current realities in your industry (e.g., competition, overall economic environment).
  • Time-Based – You must select a timeframe for completion of the goal.  Without a timeframe tied to the goal, there’s no motivation to work on it now and it likely won’t get done.

Zahorsky (2016) provides this example of a well written SMART goal:  “Obtain two new billion dollar corporate clients in the Boston property insurance market by the end of this fiscal year through networking and marketing activities.”

Team-based reward systems can and do result in increased productivity.  In a virtual organization, some creativity would be necessary to implement an effective team-based reward program.  However, for the reward system to have a long lasting effect on productivity and motivation it must tap into the “behavioral” side of people (not just the financial side of people) and must be implemented in an organizational setting that allows for employees to think creatively/innovatively,  allows them to feel that their personal values are in alignment with the organization’s mission/vision/values, allows them to feel a sense of competency in their role and also feel a connection with other people (Delves, 2011).  Another important factor is that whatever the reward (e.g., recognition awards, merit play, incentive pay, at-risk-earnings) is it must be valued by employees in order to actually act as a motivator.  To be effective, reward systems must also be implemented at all levels of the organization so that all employees benefit from the “fruits of strong organizational performance (Rynes, Gerhart and Minette, 2004).


Delves, D. (2011).  Is Incentive Compensation a True Motivator?  Retrieved December 11, 2016, from

Rynes, S., Gerhart, B., Minette, K. (2004).  The Importance of Pay in Employee Motivation: Discrepancies Between What People Say and What They Do.  Human Resources Management, 43(4), 381-394.  Retrieved December 11, 2016, from

Zahorsky, D. (2016).  5 Elements of a Smart Business Goal.  Retrieved December 9, 2016, from