Rewarding Teams: Lessons from the Trenches / Edition 1

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Work teams have become an essential part of business in almost every industry, yet most companies still rely on outmoded compensation systems geared only to individual performance. Rewarding Teams is a resource for managers on the front lines who are looking for practical advice about how to design and implement team-oriented incentives, rewards, and recognition systems that will advance their organization's cultural and strategic objectives. The authors identify the three most important reward systems for teams—recognition plans, project team incentives, and organizational unit incentives—and provide numerous examples of how today's top companies are using them to spur the development and success of their work teams. Twenty-seven case studies from organizations including Chase Manhattan, Ralston Purina, Lotus Development, Bayer, and Rockwell Automation describe in detail how each company designed and implemented their systems. These case studies show readers how to handle a variety of difficult issues such as whether to use cash or non-cash rewards, dealing with team members who don't pull their weight, combining plans for maximum impact, and communicating clearly about compensation. The authors summarize key solutions from all the case studies in the book's closing chapter. By shining a light on struggles, successes, and lessons learned by real-world organizations, Rewarding Teams gives readers the guidance and tools they need to tackle the formidable task of building compensations programs that appropriately and effectively reward and recognize the work of teams.

Using actual case studies from a variety of leading companies, Rewarding Teams provides a blueprint for building team reward programs that spur development and success

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"In today's world, where virtual, global teams are often the norm,Rewarding Teams delivers reward and recognition strategies that canmake a real difference in the effective management of teams-anecessity for individuals and organization in the twenty-firstcentury." —Tim Walker, director, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Center forLeadership Development

" 'Lessons from the Trenches' are the operative words here: theauthors have spent a lot of time in companies, seeing what worksand what doesn't. If you're trying to figure out how to reward youcompany's teams-and these days, who isn't?-this is the book foryou." —John Case, executive editor, Harvard Business SchoolPublishing

"At last, a book that demonstrates how two dozen top companies userewards to make teams work. A useful handbook for human resourceand line managers alike." —Jon R. Katzenbach, senior partner,Katzenbach Partners LLC

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780787948092
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 2/25/2000
  • Series: Jossey-Bass Business and Management Series
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.49 (d)

Meet the Author

GLENN PARKER is a consultant who has worked with pharmaceuticalcompanies, telecommunications organizations, manufacturers, servicebusinesses, and health care providers to create and sustain highperforming teams, effective team players, and team-based systems.He is author of the best-selling Team Players and Teamwork.
JERRY MCADAMS is the national practice leader of the rewards andrecognition systems for Watson Wyatt Worldwide and the co-directorof the nonprofit Consortium for Alternative Reward StrategyResearch.
DAVID ZIELINSKI is a business journalist who has covered the humanresources, organizational development, and business managementfields for more than ten years.

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Read an Excerpt


The bookshelves of American businesses spill over with works on how to build, train, coach, and sustain teams, and on the nature of virtual teams, self-directed teams, global teams, and dysfunctional teams. That's not surprising; the potential of efficient teamwork is boundless. But creating good teams is a vexing challenge, especially in the United States. How can you get employees in the world's most individualistic culture to sacrifice and pull together for the common good?

At the heart of this book are case studies of reward plans in companies large and small, in many industries, and of many cultures. For every Chase Manhattan or Rockwell, we have included a Markem Corp. or a nonprofit such as the Texas Guaranteed Student Loan Corporation.


To put it simply: executives and managers looking to implement a strategy that has teamwork and collaboration as a central tenet; team champions, sponsors, and leaders who need to understand the critical role and implications of team rewards and recognition; human resource professionals called upon to advise teams on the options and issues associated with rewards and recognition; and compensation experts who are asked to add to their expertise and understanding to new team reward and recognition plans.


The three authors bring distinct but overlapping skill sets to this book. Glenn Parker's books and surveys on teams and teamwork are a staple in the field. Jerry McAdams has led much of the research on reward and recognition systems in North America. Dave Zielinski has covered the human resources, organizational development, and business management fields as a journalist for more than ten years.


Chapter One describes BIZCOM, a fictitious company that wants to use a team approach to address a critical business problem. It delineates the natural history of teams and includes a discussion of team and organizational development issues such as vision, sponsorship, membership, stakeholders, launches, training, coaching, management style, and organizational support.


We thank Susan Williams of Jossey-Bass for her immeasurable patience, flexibility, and support. She did everything we asked-and then some-to help us complete this project. Likewise, Byron Schneider provided useful feedback and ongoing support.

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Table of Contents

1. The Natural History of a Work Team
2. The Missing Link: Meaningful Team Rewards
3. Company Profiles — Recognition Plans Introduction ChaseManhattan Markam Merck & Company Operations ManagementInternational Ralston Purina Company
4. Company Profiles — Project Team Incentives Introduction GreatPlains Software Community Health Care Bayer Corporation UtilicorpUnited Lotus Development Company
5. Company Profiles — Organizational Unit ("Group") IncentivesIntroduction Rockwell Automation Mid-States Technical StaffingServices Ameritech Internal Audit Services Texas Guaranteed StudentLoan Corporation RR Donnelley & Sons The American Society ofComposers, Authors, and Publisher (ASCAP) CARS IV Research
What We've Learned: Lessons from the Trenches
Bibliography Index

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 24, 2000

    A practical and timely book

    Rewarding Teams is a helpful and practical book that addresses a topic that is very timely in our 'virtual' team business world. The case study format from real organizations adds credibility and makes it very user friendly. The failures, successes and lessons learned approach is a great way to learn invaluable information that can be applied to your organization. It has certainly helped me assist my constituents in the mostly uncharted area of team recognition and rewards versus individual.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 11, 2000

    Very practical and useful guide

    For those of us helping to develop team-based work environments, this book hits the mark. I already know the theories. What I need are some examples of how to make it work in the trenches. It provides the kind of practical, down-to-earth examples that show what really works in the real world. This book isn¿t a simplistic, one-dimensional approach to recognition. It reviews all aspects of the development, care and maintenance of strong teams, and provides a clear understanding of the role that recognition and rewards play. The first chapter is a great primer on the right way to get teams up and running. Parker, et. al. throw in numerous tips for team leaders on how to get the ball rolling, and alert you to potential pitfalls and traps and how to deal with them. Chapter one puts team rewards and recognition in the proper context. I didn¿t realize how superficial my understanding of team rewards was until I read the book. For example, the book differentiates incentives from rewards, an important distinction that I have to admit was somewhat muddied in my thinking. It illustrates how rewards and recognition need to fit with the organizational culture, and show how this works in practice in organizations. The authors use a fictitious team start-up situation in the first two chapters to add another dimension to aid the reader in understanding the principles of team development from the team leader¿s perspective. I found myself wondering if the authors had worked in some of the companies I was in. They clearly have ¿been there and done that.¿ Chapters three through five profile almost twenty companies to provide actual examples of how to implement the various approaches to team reward and recognition to address different situations and challenges. For example, the book goes into the rationale, philosophy, criteria and detailed administration of Chase Manhattan Bank¿s Service Star Program, as well as the organization¿s candid assessment of the program¿s strengths and weaknesses. Some companies are large, some small. Government, non-profit, and associations are also represented. Some use stock options, some cash awards. Some tie in team performance with individual performance reviews. Throughout, ¿successes and lessons learned¿ enable the reader to benefit from what others have done. This is an example of the improvements one company decided to make in its approach after the initial evaluation period: - Give plants more control in choosing and tailoring plan metrics. - Encourage employees to get involved in creating goals - Shift the burden of plan communication from the corporate level to the plants The final chapter summarizes the key principles and insights from the authors¿ work. I would highly recommend this book for executives responsible for creating the organization culture, operating managers and human resource staffs. It should be required reading for anyone involved in forming, leading and supporting teams so they can avoid the problems that can affect team performance.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2000

    A Highly Practical Resource on Rewarding Teams

    If you're reading this review you already get it -- you can't engage teams while only rewarding individuals. But how do you do it? The literature and seminars that purport to deal with team-based rewards are heavy on theory but lean on actual application. 'Rewarding Teams', however, provides an outstanding, highly practical resource for executives, line managers and HR professionals. It builds on the reward systems model presented in Jerry McAdam's prior book, 'The Reward Plan Advantage', presenting strategies that reposture compensation dollars from a cost of doing business to an investment in performance improvement. The many case studies in the book provide an extremely helpful framework for understanding the issues, alternatives and key success factors in designing team-based reward systems. The last chapter, a summary of 'lessons from the trenches', is alone worth the investment in the book.

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