Rewards and Creative Performance: WHAT are you rewarding?

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Continuing on the quest for how to motivate for creative performance we zoom in on whether and how rewards work. In an earlier post we established that we can increase the number of good ideas (and a few exceptional ones) by providing low-powered rewards to employees for ideas.

In a meta-analysis Kris Byron and Shalini Khazanchi found that the context in which  rewards are offered is important. In a context where rewards are offered for creative performance (creativity-contingent rewards) rather than for general performance (no explicit creativity criterion) creative performance increases.

This effect is amplified when  “when individuals are given more positive, contingent, and task-focused performance feedback and are provided more choice (and are less controlled)”.

In a general performance or completion oriented rewards tend to have a slightly negative effect.

What are you rewarding?

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