You Get What You RewardHow to Be Rewarded

Imagine you own a gift shop and two salespeople work for you: Jill and Susan.

Jill is attractive and cheerful. She dresses well and enjoys her work. She is very social and loves to chat with customers.

Susan does not dress as well as Jill. She does not chat with customers but is constantly busy. She likes to arrange the product displays, fill out inventory forms and research suppliers.

You decide to open another gift shop and need a manager to take over. Your friend says, “Jill is the best choice for the manager. She dresses well and enjoys chatting with customers. Everyone likes her best! Susan is just boring.”

You still can’t decide between Jill or Susan. So, you check the computer and find Jill’s sales have actually been dropping for the past several weeks. You realize she spends TOO much time chatting with customers.

Per your records, Susan’s sales are going up each week. In fact, even though she doesn’t dress as well as Jill, she knows how to do her job REALLY well. In fact, she sells four times as many gifts as Jill.

Who should you promote to the manager position?

Rewards and Penalties


“If you reward nonproduction you get nonproduction.

“We award production and up statistics and penalize nonproduction and down statistics. Always.

“Also we do it all by statistics–not rumor or personality or who knows who.” — L. Ron Hubbard

As you probably know, if you reward Jill with the promotion, your sales will drop. Everyone will stand around looking good and chatting all day.

If you reward Susan with the promotion, your gift sales will increase. People buy gifts with Susan. She makes statistics go up. With Susan in charge, you make more profit.

Unfair Management

Employees complain when they are rewarded or penalized because of their personality or appearance. Unfair managers reward people because of their age, their automobiles, their political views, etc. Unfair managers penalize people because of their accents, religious beliefs, bodies and so on.

Other examples of unfair management:

Bob is made Vice President of Sales because he plays golf with the company owner each weekend. He knows nothing about sales, but knows how to make the boss have fun.

A manufacturing company has 16 women and 25 men working on its assembly line. They all do the same job, but the men earn 15% higher pay.

Pete has been working at the company for ten years and he gets $45 per hour. Chris gets twice as much work done as Pete, but because he has worked there for just two years, he is only paid $28 per hour.

Fair Management

If a business only rewards people with up statistics, the best people stay with the company and the losers soon quit. Everyone has a fair chance to succeed. The business becomes more productive and profitable.

If you work for such a company, you have more opportunities regardless of your experience, appearance or beliefs. As long as you produce more than average on a long-term basis, you get more pay, more respect and fewer hassles. You can even show up late once in a while without anyone mentioning it. No one would dream of firing you as you are making the company successful.

Other examples:

Sally is made Vice President of Sales because her sales team has beaten their sales quota every quarter for five years.

The restaurant gives its food servers $15 per hour and DOUBLES their tips. For example, if a waitress gets a $20 tip, the restaurant throws in a $20 bonus. As a result, the customers get the best food servers in town doing an incredible job. The restaurant is famous! It earns more profit than any other restaurant in town and opens a chain.

You are part of a hard-working productive team of amazing performers. Your team shows a HUGE profit increase for the company for the year. All members in the team receive a $100,000 year-end bonus.


1. Select a statistic you want to increase.

Examples: You want to lose weight. You want your assistant to post 50 documents each day. You want your son to get better test scores.

2. Announce a reward if the statistic goes up and a penalty if it goes down.

“If I lose five pounds this month, I get to go on a weekend get-a-way. If I gain a pound or more, I have to clean out the garage.”

“Jenny, I have a deal for you. If you post 50 documents in a day, you get a $50 bonus for the day. If your statistic drops below 40 in a day, you agree to contribute $10 to the coffee fund. Is it a deal?”

“Son, if you get a score of 95 or higher on all of your tests this month, you get those new shoes you want. But, if your scores drop below 85, you have to clean out the garage. Okay?”

3. Reward or penalize appropriately.

“I gained two pounds. No trip for me! Time to clean the garage.”

“Congratulations Jenny! You posted 50 documents today. Here’s your $50 bonus!”

“Son, great job on your test scores of 96! Let’s go get those shoes!”

Give it a try!

Bonus Tip: How to Get Your Boss To Use this Principle

If your boss is unfair, how do you get him or her to treat you more fairly?

One way is to simply mention this principle. You may start a chain of events that leads to a fairer workplace and a more successful business.

For example, “If I get more done this month than anyone has gotten done on this job before, can I have a $500 bonus?” “If we double our sales this month, will you give us all a paid day off?”

If your boss is smart, he or she will love the idea of rewarding production.

If you also propose a penalty for poor production, he or she may faint from joy.

If your boss dislikes these ideas, it may be time for you to find a new boss.