Rewards & Recognition Review

Employee Motivation using Team Rewards

#1 Recognition and Rewards book for teams.

Team rewards and individual rewards are explored in detail in this practical, fun book.

Your wallet is empty? And you still need to boost your team's performance?

Building employee morale is difficult in these tough economic times. Kevin Aguanno helps you solve your morale problem with ideas for team and individual rewards that won't break the bank.

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HR Web Review is your one-stop shop for reviews of articles, web sites, and books on human resources issues.  The current issue is full of rewards and recognition reviews.
Team rewards present a great opportunity to help foster team bonding.  With the proper application of a reward and recognition program, you can help build a high-performance team, and foster cross-organizational cooperation.  But team rewards are not to be treated carelessly: misapplication could lead to unhealthy competition, lack of cooperation, and ultimately severe financial consequences for the organization.

Team motivation and rewards programs should make up part of your overall employee recognition program. You need to consider a mix of team and individual rewards, and balance the mix between awards that encourage both cooperative and competitive behaviors.  The first reviewed article in our directory, below, presents a model for distinguishing these reward motivators and for building a sound employee recognition strategy.  With a balanced strategy, you can then prepare a blend of monetary and non monetary rewards that will help you achieve your goals in a cost-effective manner.

The desired outcome of recognition programs is to improve performance and improve employee retention. This web page is devoted to providing you with links to articles and other resources on the topic of team rewards and recognition to improve employee motivation and performance.   Below is a list of free rewards articles, grouped by category.  Many of the articles have been reviewed by our editors and assigned a 1 to 5-star rating along with a brief sentence describing the focus of the article or other resource.

If you would like to contribute additional articles to this team rewards article directory, then please fill out our Article Submission form.

In addition to this directory page, you can also read our reviews of articles and books on employee recognition programs and non monetary rewards.

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Team Rewards Articles
(ranked in no particular order)

1. 5 stars
(Excellent)
Use All Four Reward Types to Maximize Team and Individual Performance - An excellent article that presents the four team rewards and  individual rewards types.  Applying your knowledge of these four types and the behaviors that they incent will help you create a more effective rewards and recognition program.
2. 5 stars
(Excellent)
Boosting Company Performance Through Team Rewards - Explores the concept of gain-sharing:  "an incentive to the entire workforce to improve the performance of the business and to reward them immediately when they do."
3. 2 stars
(Poor)
Why Team Rewards - There's little of use in this article other than a list of the reasons why you use team rewards:  better team products, better teamwork and communication, improved quality, improved commitment, improved employee loyalty, improved profits.
4. 4 stars
(Very Good)
Partnering with your Partners:  Promoting Team Rewards - Explores the benefits to an employee if he or she partners with others in an organization to achieve goals.  The article uses specific examples from a law firm.
5. 4 stars
(Very Good)
The Determinants of Team Rewards in Entrepreneurial Firms - The results of an academic study of 130 companies that showed that high time commitment teams (those with full-time, dedicated team members) were being given mostly monetary rewards and low time commitment teams (part time team members) were being given mostly non-monetary rewards  (Must pay to read full article, but abstract available for free.)
6. 3 stars
(Good)
Team Rewards - Contains a number of short segments describing how to prepare a reward program mix suited towards team rewards, and a number of ideas for team reward processes.
7. 5 stars
(Excellent)
Team Rewards and Incentives: Lessons from the Literature - A summary report based on a study of a wide range of academic studies and reports.  A very good overview of the topic and the issues.  This PDF file is highly recommended.
8. 3 stars
(Good)
Rotten Rewards - Short article explaining how teams are often asked to pursue goals that are detrimental to the individual members' best interests.  This article discusses some of the impacts.
9. 4 stars
(Very Good)
Pay Schemes: Variable Pay and Team Bonus - Prepared as guidance for local governments, this U.K. government article explains how to use team pay and rewards as part of a program mix to drive cooperation in the organization.
10. 3 stars
(Good)
Incentives vs Rewards: Which is Best?  - Article proposes abandoning team rewards and moving to individual rewards.  Makes some good points, but ignores current best practice of a mix of team rewards and individual rewards for employee motivation.


Team Reward Books
(ranked in no particular order)

1. 4 stars
(Very Good)
Rewarding Teams
Rewarding Teams - by Michael Armstrong
Explains the theory and the benefits behind rewarding team members as a unified group.  Using the concept of "team pay," Armstrong shows us how to motivate teams to higher performance.
2. 5 stars
(Excellent)
101 Ways to Reward Employees for $20 (or Less!)
101 Ways to Reward Team Members for $20 (or Less!) - by Kevin Aguanno
This delightful book is broken up into small segments that make it very easy to read for the busy professional. The first half of the book explains how to give inexpensive rewards and recognition in a way that delights the recipient and that reinforces the correct behaviors. The book provides techniques on how to maximize the impact of individual rewards on the recipient's coworkers so that you can leverage your investment.The second half of the book is full of innovative and cheap reward ideas that will not deplete your rewards budget.
3. 4 stars
(Very Good)
Rewarding Teams: Lessons from the Trenches
Rewarding Teams: Lessons From the Trenches - by Glenn Parker, et al.
Using actual case studies from a variety of leading companies, Rewarding Teams provides a blueprint for building team reward programs that spur development and success. The book focuses on the three most important types of team-based rewards programs--recognition plans, project team incentives, and group incentives--offering readers detailed advice on how they can create and implement such programs themselves. Twenty-seven profiles of team reward and recognition plans from today's top companies give readers an in-depth look at how these plans work in actual practice. They also provide the basis for the set of best principles included in the final chapter.
4. 4 stars
(Very Good)
Rewarding and Recognizing Employees: Ideas for individuals, teams and managers

Rewarding and Recognizing Employees: Ideas for Individuals, Teams and Managers - by Joan Klubnik
This is an interesting read for those interested in designing and implementing a rewards and recognition programme. It covers recognition strategy and how to tie it to programme design. It also includes practical advice on implementing the strategy. It includes a few reward ideas at the end of the book, but they appear to be added as an afterthought -- do not buy this book if you are only looking for reward ideas; however, if you are looking for practical advice on creating a recognition programme, then this book could be for you.

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