What's Up -- Articles and Info


By James W. Murphy, L.L.D.


    The old adage of "Different Strokes For Different Folks" is certainly applicable when we look at what rewards different people. There are multiple reasons why one person values a given reward, or not, and it is based on where they are in life today, personal preferences, etc.

    Using a "carrot" as a motivator may be important to one person, but only if he/she likes carrots.  We must remember that everyone doesn't like carrots.

    When a New York Bank President tried to take the "Employee Of The Month" and their spouse to the Country Club for a tux-&-tails formal dinner, which was what the president liked to do, the employee saw it almost as punishment instead of reward because he/she felt very uncomfortable in the setting.  Another restaurant or something else, that the employee valued, would have been much more appropriate.

    When the same reward is given over and over it tends to lose its value.  To keep people motivated, either children or adults, we need to use a variety of rewards. When the same reward is given over and over it becomes expected, or viewed as an entitlement, rather than a motivator.

    Random timing is also important.  If any reward is given at the same time of the day, month, or year, again it becomes expected and sometimes seen as manipulative versus being perceived as a true reward.

    These considerations of variable rewards and the timing issue are also applicable to intangible rewards.  If we always say, "Thank You, Good Job" at the end of the day, it soon loses its impact.

    In reality, true rewards are not the external things that are given, either tangible or intangible, but the value is in the internal feeling we attach to the incoming items or messages.

    Accepting this view allows us to now believe that we can "self reward" internally simply by personally attaching either a positive or a negative feeling to any situation.  Hermits that live on a deserted island or a lonely mountain retreat often do a great deal of self-rewarding.

    In summary, everyone has an internal need to be rewarded.  We can increase our personal influence with others by learning effective reward techniques.  Being aware of repetition, timing, and "who likes carrots", then using that knowledge effectively can greatly improve another person's performance as well as raising their self esteem. This results in a “WIN-WIN”.            

    Next, we will see what happens when the “Expected Reward” isn’t received.

NEW --- NEW --- NEW --- NEW


Expressed, or stated, ethics / values, both personal and/or organizational, are often different from those carried out in actual transactions or situations.

This raises the question concerning “What are the true ethics / values of a person or an organization?”.  Is where we draw the line of compromise our true ethic / value, or do we justify a particular behavior situationally?

I have often wondered, and sometimes been confused, as to why some people apply one ethic to a business situation and a totally different ethic to other parts of their lives. Now I know, and will bring this information to a new seminar.

We are launching a new program, “ALIGNMENT OF PERSONAL AND ORGANIZATIONAL ETHICS AND VALUES”, to help leaders at all levels raise their awareness of “what is right and ethical” as we deal with customers and suppliers as well as internal people and activities.

If you are interested in additional information on agendas, objectives, etc., please e-mail our office at murphys@teammurphy.com or call us at (828) 894-0104.

J.W. Murphy & Associates
2630 Peniel Road
Columbus, North Carolina 28722
Telephone: (828) 894-0104
E-Mail: murphys@teammurphy.com