Woman celebrating by pumping fists

Rewards and incentives are a powerful tool. Because we humans tend to seek rewards, workplace incentives that encourage and reinforce ethical actions are critical for achieving an ethical culture. A rewards system aligned with ethical business practices will strengthen an organization’s commitment to an ethical business culture.


This company pays kids to do their math homework

Mohamad Jebara loves mathematics -- but he's concerned that too many students grow up thinking that this beautiful, rewarding subject…

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What really motivates people to be honest in business

Each year, one in seven large corporations commits fraud. Why? To find out, Alexander Wagner takes us inside the economics,…

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On pay ceilings and keeping good managers

Q: Given that I have no formal business training, the simple questions in running the show always get me. Is…

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Practical Guidance

Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness

An Ethical Systems Book Review BY DAVID NEWMAN Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and HappinessRichard H. Thaler, Cass R. SunsteinPenguin Books, Revised & Expanded edition (2009) (public library)Summarized by Erick Rabin Introduction Choice Architecture involves organizing any context in which people make decisions. Urinals, stairwells, alarm clocks, school cafeterias, retirement accounts—all of these can be made more efficient and conducive to health and wellbeing. Though no design can be perfect, choice architects are always faced with tradeoffs and must make a decision of some sort. Thus the question is not whether to go about engaging in choice architecture, but how best…

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Incentive gaming

Incentive gaming, or “gaming the system,” refers to when we figure out ways to increase our rewards for performance without actually improving our performance.

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The puzzle of motivation

Career analyst Dan Pink examines the puzzle of motivation, starting with a fact that social scientists know but most managers don't: Traditional rewards aren't always as effective as we think. Listen for illuminating stories -- and maybe, a way forward. https://www.ted.com/talks/dan_pink_the_puzzle_of_motivation By: Dan Pink This video is shared under a Creative Commons license (BY-NC-ND 4.0). Please visit Ted.com. This TED Talk originally appeared on TEDGlobal 2009 in July 2009.

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To get more from workers, focus on factors that drive intrinsic motivation

Motivation can be thwarted in many ways. Fortunately, the research provides some great tools for diagnosing and improving motivation. Q: How can I incentivize my employees to produce more? A: Employee performance is generally a function of ability, opportunity and motivation. The first thing you should do is determine which of these factors are contributing to the poor performance. If people have been able to perform well in the past, and the job requirements or context have not materially changed, then a lack of motivation may be the culprit. Motivation can be thwarted in many ways. Fortunately, the research provides…

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