You are on page 1of 4


Name  Roll no. 








Why Incentive plans cannot work?
This article tests the ​basic premise​ of the usage of rewards to enhance performance.
Rewards are nothing but additional benefits that an employee derives in lieu of his/her
performance and Alfie Kohn bases this reliance on rewards as a ​resultant of behavioural
doctrine​. These incentives are the tools wielded by the management to assure above
average output from the sub-ordinates.
Rewards act as extrinsic motivators enduring commitment for a limited time, the appraisals
may even solve the problem in the temporarily but create a deeper wound in the long run.
As per the various studies conducted to find a ​relation between reward and productivity​ it
was observed that higher pay does not guarantee better performance, rather in many cases
handing out incentives had a negative effect on the overall performance. The writer
contemplates on the ​flaws behind the reward theory​ and plans to change the
implementation methodology of an incentive plan.
❖ The first point that he brings out ​shakes the myth that salaries are ultimate motivating
criteria for a person to perform bette​r. Though it is correct to assume that stable
monetary benefits do help a person stay devoted to his/her job, but in no way can we
ensure that excellence can be brought by shelling out millions.

❖ The second point ​introspects the pessimism forwarded by the Carrot-Stick culture​. It
explains how missing a reward can lead to demoralizing an employee immensely. This
point also features the reality of manipulation that many managers employ to control
their subordinates further pushing them into this blind race of getting more bonuses.

❖ Alfie Kohn next ​deliberates about the impact of the reward system on office
relationships.​ He says that these incentives may rupture the healthy working
environment by inducing negative competitive spirit among the workers. Team work
takes a huge hit as employees view their colleagues not as their work mates but as
obstacles to their own success.

❖ The fourth ​point refers to the negligence brought due to the current appraisal
patterns. ​It implies that the bigger and more significant reason takes a back seat where
all the energy is put up to analyse each situation with the same mundane response.
Incentive system also seems to be a convenient way out for the managers who shy away
their veritable organisational duties.

❖ The next point ​ponders the connection between incentives and excellence. ​Setting
rewards as datum to judge their performance, the managers make their employees
excessively inclined about getting better numbers rather than bringing innovative
solutions. It makes the subordinates more and more risk averse sucking creativity of
their performance.
❖ The last point ​deals with the motivation caused by these additive remuneration
received by the employees.​ It indicates that extrinsic motivators are poor substitutes to
cash upon the genuine interests of individuals. According to the results of the studies
conducted, the rewards may even end up driving away employees and workers away
from their interests due to the fear of being artificially controlled.
We can infer that if the pay is generous enough, then there is no reason for employees to
further think about money. Additional rewards and incentives need not necessarily be a part
of an organization. But without any incentives companies can risk losing their best
employees. It is well known that employees compare their outcomes from a job with other
employees which will affect the motivation of the individual. Therefore, it is important for
an organization to identify and reward high performance appropriately.