sends success articles each week to 23,000 subscribers. Use these articles to improve your personal, financial and professional success. Go to for more information.

TipsForSuccess: You Get What You Reward

You Get What You Reward

Imagine you own a gift shop. Two sales people 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 gift displays, fill out inventory forms and stock the shelves.

You decide to open a car wash down the road and need a manager for your gift shop. Your friend says, "Jill is the best choice for the manager. She dresses well and enjoys chatting with customers. Everyone likes her best!"

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

Susan's sales statistic is going up each week. In fact, even though she doesn't dress as well as Jill, she is selling twice as many gifts as Jill.

Who should you promote to the manager position?

Rewards and Penalties


"If you reward nonproduction you get nonproduction.

"When you penalize production 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. And we make sure everyone has a statistic of some sort." -- L. Ron Hubbard

As you probably know, if you reward Jill with the promotion, you will get a decrease in gift sales. Everyone will stand around looking good and chatting all day. She has down statistics. With Jill in charge, you lose money.

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 loudest when they are treated unfairly; when people are rewarded or penalized because of their personality or appearance.

Unfair managers reward people because of their age, their automobiles or their political beliefs. Unfair managers penalize people because of their accents, skin color or body size.

Even if you are an up statistic, an unfair manager increases or decreases your pay because of how you get along with others, whose hand you kiss or how your spouse acts at company parties.

Other examples:

Bob is made Vice President of Sales because he plays golf with the company founder each weekend.

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.

Because Cheryl has been working at the company for ten years, she gets $25 per hour. Chris gets twice as much work done, but because he has worked there for just two years, he is paid $18 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. 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 even 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 basket company gives its basket makers $6 per hour plus ten cents per basket. The fast basket makers earn $20 per hour. Slow basket makers earn $7 per hour. It does not matter if you are male or female, old or young. You control your pay.

You are part of a hard-working productive team. Your team shows a profit increase for the company for the year. All members in the team receive a $1,000 bonus at the end of the year.

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. For example, "If I get more done this month than anyone has gotten done on this job before, can I have a $250 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. Add a penalty for poor production and he or she may faint from joy. If your boss dislikes these ideas, it may be time for you to find a new boss.

If you are the boss, rewarding people based on statistics makes your job easier. You just look at statistics to identify your best people. If someone says they are high producers, get the evidence.

Use statistics to decide who gets the best jobs, the bonuses or promotions. As the boss, you will see your own statistics rise as a result.


1. Select a statistic you want to increase. Examples:

You want to lose weight.

You want your typist to type 50 reports each day.

You want your son to get better test scores in school.

2. Agree with or 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 to a movie. If I gain a pound or more, I have to clean out the garage."

"Jenny, I have a deal for you. If you type 50 reports in a day, you get a $20 bonus. If your statistic drops below 40 reports 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 movie for me! Time to clean the garage."

"Congratulations Jenny! You typed 50 reports today. Here's your $20 bonus!"

"Son, great job on your test scores of 96! Let's go get those shoes!"

4. Keep your promises.

The worst thing you can do is break your word on the reward or penalty.

For example, "Son, even though your test scores have dropped to 75, I know you tried. Let's go get those shoes anyway." Your son's test scores may never increase.

What would happen if you said this to your typist? "Jenny, even though you typed those 50 reports today, I've changed my mind and won't give you the $20 bonus. Sorry. See you tomorrow."

Imagine what might happen if you were consistent with yourself as well. "I promised myself a full day off as soon as I sold three cars. Well, I've sold five! I'm going to the mall!"

Give it a try!

Copyright © 2006 All rights reserved. Grateful acknowledgment is made to L. Ron Hubbard Library for permission to reproduce selections from the copyrighted works of L. Ron Hubbard.

Take better control of your life with the TipsForSuccess coaching website at

For permission to copy, print or post this article, go to or click here.

To subscribe, buy books, contact us or learn more about, click here.

Blog Archive