Rewarding Teams: Lessons from the Trenches / Edition 1

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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. The book focuses on the three most important types of team-based rewards programs--recognition plans, project team incentives, and group incentives--offering readers detailed advice on how they can create and implement such programs themselves. Twenty-seven profiles of team reward and recognition plans from today's top companies give readers an in-depth look at how these plans work in actual practice. They also provide the basis for the set of best principles included in the final chapter.

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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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 pharmaceutical companies, telecommunications organizations, manufacturers, service businesses, and health care providers to create and sustain high performing 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 and recognition systems for Watson Wyatt Worldwide and the co-director of the nonprofit Consortium for Alternative Reward Strategy Research.

David Zielinski is a business journalist who has covered the human resources, organizational development, and business management fields 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

Preface xi
The Authors xv
1 The Natural History of a Work Team 1
2 The Missing Link: Meaningful Team Rewards 21
3 Company Profiles: Recognition Plans 50
Chase Manhattan's Global Recognition Effort 50
Markem's Rewards for Top Problem-Solving Teams 56
Merck: Aligning Recognition and Incentives 60
OMI: Low-Cost High-Impact Awards 65
Ralston Purina Pet Products 70
4 Company Profiles: Project Team Incentives 77
Great Plains Software 77
Community Health Care 86
Bayer Corporation 93
Lotus Development Company 100
Utilicorp United 106
5 Company Profiles: Organizational Unit ("Group") Incentives 111
Rockwell Automation 112
Mid-States Technical Staffing Services 120
Ameritech Internal Audit Services 128
Texas Guaranteed Student Loan Corporation 135
RR Donnelley & Sons 145
The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers 152
Organizational Unit Incentives in Action: CARS IV Research 162
Major Findings from the CARS IV Data 183
6 What We've Learned: Lessons from the Trenches 185
Bibliography 203
Index 205
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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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