Rewards and Punishment

06/06/2020 0 By indiafreenotes

Motivated and disciplined employees are often the result of punishment or reward. A workplace is collective place of various individuals with different personality types. Some individuals might perform better under good rewards whereas, the others might perform better to a fear of punishment.

In workplace, the manager attempts to motivate staffs, promote them in the workplace by promising rewards. Likewise, they warn the staffs about the pain of punishments as well.

A boss or manager always wants his/her employees to do better and ideally the best. Managers get confused whether to punish or reward the staffs for the times they get things right.

Rewarding good performance and punishing problematic or undesired behaviors are the basis terms of motivation in any organizations. However, companies over time have found that rewards often reinforces positive behavior and motivate repetition. Likewise, punishment temporarily motivates compliance, but often leads to lower morale and less productivity in long run.

A workplace has a collection of different personality types, some of which respond to incentives while others respond to a fear of punishment. A good manager understands the dynamics of individual employees and creates an environment that recognizes exceptional performance. He or she will also take note of substandard performance and deal with it in an appropriate manner. While many incentives are geared toward earnings, also consider incentives for non-sales staffers.


Rewarding behaviors draw the attention to the fact that an employee accomplished something or acted in a certain way that the company or the manager desires.

Rewarding the employees with promotions, and positive feedback is an effective way to motivate them.

For instance, an employee works in the company for the reward of an attractive monthly salary. Till the time it is very valuable for him/her, he/she will continue to strive for productivity and optimize performance to achieve maximum rewards.

There are certainly more than one way to do something right. But, when employees get rewarded, they don’t wonder what to do next time. It means that he/she can repeat or do the same thing again and again. Rewards somehow limits the employee’s ability to think in a creative manner and get better solutions of a problem.

For example, your company may develop a policy of rewarding employees every year based on a regularly scheduled annual review. The problem arises when the employees become conditioned to work hard prior to the reviews only.

An incentive is a promise of a reward that can be attained by achieving a certain outcome. Incentives are often used to generate sales, encourage timely project completion or maintenance of a budget. Rewards may be given to individuals or be dependent on collaborative group performance. You may have ongoing incentives. It is also common to have incentives to reach bi-annual and annual goals. To be effective, incentives must be worthwhile, clearly defined and attainable.

Types of Rewards

Savvy managers ask their employees what kinds of rewards will motivate them and accordingly tailor incentive plans. Some staffers prefer cash rewards, while others appreciate paid time off, flexible scheduling or deep discounts on the purchase of the company’s products and services. Rewards can be based on the size of the company’s budget. For example, a large company might host an annual cruise if staffers collectively reach a corporate goal, whereas a smaller business might distribute gourmet coffee gift cards to top performers at the end of each month.


Punishment in the workplace includes nagging an employee to complete the given tasks, making threats or hovering, verbal or written reprimands, pay cuts, demotions or suspensions for the work.

Punishment can be demotivating and mental torture for the employees as well. No matter how hard they work, if they still get negative feedback from their bosses or supervisors, they might lose the enthusiasm to work.

In most of the cases, people tempt to think “You have learned a lesson” means you got certain type of punishment. People often turn the word lesson into a negative term called punishment.

If punishment is applied before all of the facts are accounted for, then employees will develop a sense of rebellion in response to punishment rather than seeing it as a warning to a particular activity.

However, punishment is not inherently bad either. It is a concept that implies the application of values. Generally in workplace, some team members or individuals might find public recognition or rewards for something they have done. But for some being recognized in front of their peers might not be as cheerful as it sounds.

Sometimes, making mistakes can also be a better part of learning. If you have a good boss or a manager, he/she might teach or explain you not to make the same mistakes again.

Likewise, sometimes you make have to work extra hours as a result of your punishment. At that time, you get opportunity to learn lot more than the employees getting the rewards couldn’t. Everything is not about winning, sometimes it is also about learning.

Workplace punishment is more accurately defined as “disciplinary action.” To be effective, employees must have a clear understanding of workplace policies and guidelines so that they are aware of the penalty for breaching rules or failing to meet performance standards. If employees are unfamiliar with what constitutes a violation of company rules, it can be difficult to enforce standards or take disciplinary measures without facing backlash. Have a written policy that details expectations and the resulting intervention and action that’s taken if rules are violated.


In every workplace there may occur some behaviors that simply is unacceptable. Some of the examples could be failure of safety equipment, sexual harassment or abusive behavior that we deem are unacceptable. In these sort of cases, we cannot have a workplace without the existence of threat of punishments.

Rewards as well as punishments can both be rendered useless if the timing is bad or extremely worth when the timing is good. It totally depends on the kind of rewards or punishment. For both the employees and the manager or the boss, you need to be able to critically analyses the situations and decide what can be better.