Carrot & Stick Management Style Brings Limited Benefits
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Carrot & Stick Management Style Brings Limited Benefits

Bonuses done right can be a great employee incentive – but don’t turn your team into donkeys.

Many years ago, farmers would wake up early to hitch their mules to the plow. The farmer would grab a carrot from the garden and tie it to a stick, using this device to encourage the mule to move. It worked for a little while, but the animal became wise. Once the mule realized that it was never going to get that carrot, it would shut down, leaving the farmer in a bind by having to give the mule the carrot. Over time, the carrot caused the mule to not perform at a high level. 

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In an article published in our sister publication, Professional Carwashing & Detailing, author Hernani Alves says that organizations still often dangle carrots in the faces of their staff, which causes them to eventually become disengaged and leave. This is an old and ineffective way to manage. It’s time to embrace a new way to get long-term results, by winning hearts with balanced accountability. 

Why do so many organizations still practice the carrot and stick type of accountability? Your employees do not care about company gifts as much as you think they do. According to a recent Snappy, New York City-based employee engagement company survey of over 100,000 employees, only 6% noted gifts as their preferred token of appreciation from employers.

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