Whatever your profession, be it a Teacher, Instructional Designer, Sales Manager, Learning Development Strategist or even forever student, you undoubtedly – consciously or unconsciously – have come across the theoretical idiom that manifests itself in every walk of life: The Carrot or the Stick.
Its roots, mostly unknown but quoted by Merriam-Webster Dictionary to have originated in 1876, claim that you can entice a horse to move easier with a reward (carrot) rather than a punishment (stick). Most speculation is dependent on company culture, generational attitudes, or pure statistics. But what works? Is it praise or force that better motivates an employee?
Every company differs, but when it comes to HALIGHT and our views on Learning and Development, we like carrots, lots and lots of carrots; it’s caused us to have superhuman foresight. Our love of carrots and supplemental-foresight has helped us to attain many of our largest accounts. What’s so great about carrots? And why has it worked for us?
Let’s break it down for you:
Managing primarily with a stick is like driving your team on a single-track road by force. Sure, you’ll get to your destination, but in all likely hood you’ll have to change horses along the way, and you’ll only get one place. On the flip side, managing your team chiefly with merit, incentives, and rewards leads to enthusiastic participation and an overall increase in employee morale. From our experience, leading with incentivization has created award-winning training initiatives, higher eLearning completion rates, employee initialized innovation, and revitalized participation towards a company’s learning and development strategy – just to name a few.
You get what you give. Using archaic management structures is going to render your business obsolete eventually. It’s like putting the blinders on a horse, so they can only see one way. If you want your business to advance with innovative, ground-breaking ideas, you’ll have to take the blinders off and allow your employees to look for opportunities to excel. As Adobe so rightly put it, “if you don’t provide a broad opportunity for people to self-improve, aligned to your corporate goals, you will get ‘out-innovated’ by other companies in your field.”
We’ve dedicated hundreds if not thousands of R&D hours considering how we can encourage our carrot-minded thinking into everyday Learning and Development strategies. You can incorporate merit-based training into just about anything from the structure of an LMS, the gamification of an eLearning, or even crowdsourcing. We’ve learned that incorporating incentive-based thinking has opened doors and the right opportunists have been there waiting to shake our hands, ready to revolutionize.
Just think of what your company could accomplish if they were to open their minds to our carrot-based ideas.
Adobe eLearning Community. (2017, February 9) What’s a Stick without a Carrot? [Blog]
Retrieved from: https://elearning.adobe.com/2017/01/whats-a-stick-without-a-carrot/