7 Attributes of Rewards and Consequences to Shape Your Corporate Culture

graphic of a business man holding signs to help shape corporate culture

Is It Possible to Shape Your Corporate Culture?
Your corporate culture exists by design or by default.  Chances are you shaped, inherited or stumbled into your workplace culture.   But can it be “shaped?”  Can rewards and consequences play a role?

The Definition of Culture
Let’s start with a definition of organizational culture.  We define culture as the way work gets done in an organization day-by-day. You can also think of your corporate culture as the collective attitude, assumptions, purpose and behaviors of a company’s workforce.

Our organizational alignment research found that corporate culture accounts for 40% of the difference between high and low performing companies.

Can You Shape Your Corporate Culture?
You may have the kind of culture you hoped to create or it may be the kind of culture you want to change. The question is how much control of your corporate culture do you have as a business leader?  Can you change culture?  Enforce culture? Control culture?

Behavior Modification and Culture Shaping
We all know about behavior modification…the “carrot and stick” theory of motivating by a combination of reward and punishment. You offer incentives to do the right thing and penalties for the wrong thing. This theory is the basis for many kinds of animal training.

Used correctly, rewards and consequences can play an important role in creating a high performance culture.  Used incorrectly (think Wells Fargo sales scandal), rewards and consequences can create undesirable behaviors and outcomes.

An Example – Do Sin Taxes Work to Change Behavior?
Let’s start with recent efforts to guide the general populace toward better health habits to get a sense of the power of consequences. Sin Taxes (the so-called sticks) are now being levied in some areas on sugar-laced drinks, alcohol and cigarettes.

The objective is three-fold: (1) to decrease demand for unhealthy products by making them more expensive; (2) to save medical expenses related to obesity, addiction and cancer; and (3) to garner some revenue that, ideally, can be used to promote health improvements and prevention. And according to studies, all three seem to be working:

  • Soda Sin Tax
    The nation’s first “soda tax” on sugar-sweetened beverages, which went into effect in Berkeley, California, decreased consumption of sugary drinks by 20 %.
  • Alcohol Sin Tax
    Increased alcohol taxes in Illinois of 1 cent per serving of beer and 5 cents per serving of spirits caused a 25% monthly decrease of drunk-driving deaths.
  • Cigarette Sin Tax
    It is well-documented that cigarette taxes cut cigarette consumption particularly among teenagers and low-income people – thereby helping to significantly decrease strokes, heart attacks, and lung cancer. Hopefully, the documented effects of secondhand smoke would also be reduced.

So while some validly argue correlation does not equal causation, we believe people generally try to avoid “bad things” and strive to gain “good things.”

What Does this Mean for Rewards and Consequences in Workplace Culture?
In general, you want to:

  • Reward and provide positive feedback for the behaviors and performance that you want
  • Have negative feedback and consequences for undesired behaviors and performance

7 Attributes of Effective Rewards and Consequences to Shape Your Corporate Culture
The right combination of rewards and consequences should create emotional involvement and the right level of desire and motivation within your culture.  To be effective, rewards and consequences must be perceived as:

  1. Delivered with a clear cause/effect
  2. Timely, simple and understandable
  3. Significant for the receiver
  4. Fair, proportionate, consistent and respectful
  5. Directly linked to genuine and important meanings and reasons
  6. Not unexpected
  7. Aligned with the business strategy and desired culture

The Bottom Line
It is the job of leaders to provide the right motivation, desire and engagement for their teams to perform at their peak.  Rewards and consequences can play an important role in creating higher performance.  Just make sure they have the above attributes so you do not make things worse.

Want to learn more about creating a high performance culture? Download 3 Levels of a High Performance Culture

Comments are closed.

LSA has become the gold standard in team building and management training at Genomic Health! I have a hard time finding facilitators that come close to their level of customization, expertise and experience.

Emily Couey
Director of Human Resources

LSA has been a tremendous asset to my portfolio, both at my current company and my past company. As an HR leader, I am always looking for ways to find external resources that can provide a solution to our management training needs. LSA does that for me. Their solutions are presented in a much more leadership-oriented manner so as to be crisp, business relevant, and easy to apply right back on the job. I will continue to augment our programs using LSA solutions.

Ken Boehm
VP of Human Resources

LSA Global’s consultant brought a fresh perspective to our behavioral based interviewing strategy for two key executive positions we needed to fill, and their consultant helped us develop questions that produced a much deeper understanding of candidates’ capabilities. I am confident that the two new executives joining our organization have the right skills to add significant value. Throughout the process LSA was also very responsive in dealing with short lead time requests.

Because of the unique nature of our business, Excel is a core application in our accounting organization. After three attempts to find an Excel consultant who is capable of helping our finance team integrate advanced applications into our work processes we found LSA and Alex. He was not only a “Real” Excel expert but was masterful in helping us identify where to use Excel applications in our processes to increase our group’s efficiency.

SPO Partners & Co
Kim Silva, CFO

LSA provided top notch solutions right when and how we needed them. They exceeded my expectations from a speed, quality, and cost standpoint. I recommend them to anyone looking for a true business partner in the Learning and Development arena. The breadth and depth of their expertise has helped us hit tight deadlines across multiple projects.

Fortune 500 Financial Services Company
Director of Infrastructure & Technology

Thank you to LSA Global for their partnership and support in helping us to design and roll-out our valuable management development training program. I personally have partnered with LSA Global at four of my previous companies. It continues to be a delight working with LSA. We look forward to partnering with them at Blackhawk Networks for future training and consulting needs.

Suzanne Kinner
VP Human Resources

Blackhawk Network

I consistently look to LSA Global when I need custom programs put together for my client groups. I can always count on LSA to do a thorough needs analysis and to put together spectacular programs that are well received. Their management development and performance management expertise and professionalism make them one of my top-rated learning and development partners.

Stephanie Webb
HR Program Manager

Rambus

We have been able to utilize LSA’s extensive network of top-notch resources to leverage our investment in employee development. The result has been the cost effective and highly efficient delivery of quality educational and management training programs.

Steve Feller
Vice President, Human Resources

I continue to be impressed by the level of leadership development and management expertise and quality of advice and facilitation that LSA has to offer. What a smart and client-centric group of great people who really know how to help leaders attract, engage, develop and retain top talent.

Tracy Esposito
Director, HR Business Partner

We recently contacted LSA Global to assist us with a unique training request. We gave LSA a very short deadline and LSA custom designed a training program to meet our exact requirements within the limited time allotted to them. We found their facilitator to be well versed in the subject matter and very credible; the design provided practical and valuable information to our team of managers. I highly recommend LSA Global, particularly in the area of management training.

Julaine K. Souza
Senior Vice President

SeaTel has found our partnership with LSA Global to be very valuable and beneficial. We turned to LSA to customize a supervisory/leadership solution to meet our needs. LSA delivered a customized top quality solution. I’d recommend LSA Global to any company looking for a best-in-class training and consulting partner.

Kortney Riddle
HR Manager

Our company engaged LSA to do a specialized “train the trainer” program, and the consultant’s performance outdid our exceptionally high standards for such a program. Very crucial to the success of this program was the work done upfront to discuss our needs and to interview key members of our organization so that the program specifically met our goals. Our facilitators continue to comment on the success of the program. Thanks also for the follow-up.

Frank Abbott
Chief Financial Officer

I have worked with LSA Global at previous companies and welcomed the opportunity to bring them in to support my new organization. We worked closely with LSA to design a solution for our Client Partner Teams and Management Training on both coasts. LSA designed a customized solution for our business and organizational culture. LSA is a quality organization, one that I’d recommend to any company looking for a first class training and consulting partner that makes an impact.

Laurie Torres
Chief People Officer

VNUS Medical has been very pleased with the effective management development programs that LSA Global has delivered for us over the last four years. The programs have been universally facilitated by experienced and best in class instructors. The knowledge gained by our management team has been put into practice very quickly. VNUS is very happy to be working in partnership with LSA because they consistently deliver excellent programs that receive exceptional feedback from our management team.

Cindee Van Vleck
Director Human Resources

We engaged LSA to design and deliver a 6-month custom executive coaching program for a group of our key leaders. The focus of the program was to help a core group of senior leaders to leverage previous investments in management training, to ensure the engagement and retention of key employees, and to push critical strategic initiatives forward. Even with the high expectations of our senior people, LSA has completely exceeded our expectations. I would recommend them to anyone looking to create and implement a custom coaching methodology using proven tools to drive true change.

Ivan Fukumoto
Senior HR Manager - Staffing, Training, & Development

Working with LSA Global has proven to be extremely valuable and worthwhile. LSA understands our business, has deep expertise in content areas, and tailors the programs to deliver great results. The facilitator was extremely knowledgeable about Working Globally with India and her energy and passion made the session interesting, fun, and enjoyable for all that attended. The participants walked away extremely pleased along with highly useful practices and tools. I would highly recommend LSA Global to any company that has partners or offices in India.

Glenn McGillivray
Human Resources Business Partner

Intuit

Evaluate your Performance

Toolkits

Toolkits

Download key published insights and tools from industry experts highlighting best practices in the areas of talent, strategy and culture.

More

Health Checks

Health Checks

Want to know how you stack up against leading organizations?  Receive a complimentary benchmarking analysis courtesy of an LSA Expert.

More

Whitepapers

Whitepapers

Get up to speed on timely solutions critical to your business. Published by LSA Experts based upon client feedback and key industry trends.

More

Methodology

Methodologies

First we identify the key metrics you want to improve. Then we assemble a dedicated team of elite experts who have successfully solved similar problems with similar clients.

More

Blogs

Stay up to do date with the latest information on how we help high growth companies align their culture and talent with strategy.

More

Case Studies

Client Case Studies

Real world consulting and training approaches from LSA projects, providing insights on how your company can outperform the competition.

More