The Right Rewards: Business Beyond Bonuses


What is the ultimate purpose of Innovation in a business? The end goal is Return On Investment (ROI) for all Stakeholders. After all, the objective of the New Product Development process is to turn ideas into money. ROI comes in the form of increased shareholder value, new products and new features – everyone wins, including your employees, your customers and your stakeholders. So to move your company forward and stimulate profitable growth, it’s important to give every member of your organization the proper motivation.

In “Robert’s Rules of Innovation”, Net Result and Reward is about motivating your people with the right incentives. Motivation does not necessarily mean rewarding with money, and quite frankly it is about recognition for a job well done. Give your NPD team incentive to produce innovative ideas. What type of rewards can you give your team, beyond bonuses? Here are some ideas for non-financial motivation.

  • You want your employees to feel a sense of loyalty to the company. Reward high performance with opportunity – to sit on a panel, a team or attend a business conference.
  • Recognize a job well done with an award program. Give an award to a NPD team member who has achieved a great accomplishment.
  • One of the best ways to highlight an innovation champion’s achievement is to give them exposure. Introduce them to a client, or invite them to lunch with an executive of the organization or face time with the boss.
  • Simple praise will boost morale (so long as it is deserved)! People like to know that their success was noticed by the head of the company.

These non-financial rewards can benefit an organization by increasing an employee’s loyalty and commitment to the company, boosting company morale and reinforcing ideal outcomes in the future. Motivating employees to reach their top performance is a win-win situation for everyone involved and equates to Innovation ROI. Actually a November 2009 study by McKinsey concluded that recognition and these types of rewards were appreciated more than just financial rewards.

For additional tips on how to drive a successful New Product Development team, look for “Robert’s Rules of Innovation”. Robert Brands is the founder of InnovationCoach.com and the author of “Robert’s Rules of Innovation: A 10-Step Program for Corporate Survival,” with Martin Kleinman published by Wiley.

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