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Reward the behaviour you want

  • By Alan Knott-Craig
  • November 9, 2016



Humans react to incentives.


You get what you reward for. No reward = no results.


There is a much-cited FedEx case study where the company was struggling to meet its overnight delivery commitments. No matter how hard it tried, FedEx’s warehouses could not move the goods on times.


One day a FedEx manage changed the remuneration structure of warehouse workers. The hourly rate was changed to a fixed fee. Workers were paid the same regardless of whether the shift finished ahead or behind schedule.




The warehouses started meeting their delivery deadlines. As soon as the incentive to work longer hours (to earn more money) was taken away, staff became more efficient so they could get home earlier.


Reward the behaviour you want.