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Carrots and Sticks Don't Work: Build a Culture of Employee Engagement with the Principles of RESPECT by Paul Marciano

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CHAPTER 1The Workplace “Carrot-on-a-Stick”

“The only carrots that interest me are the number of carats in a diamond.”

—Mae West

“Carrots and sticks” refers to using rewards and punishment to motivate others. This system is based on the principles of operant conditioning. Similarly, there is the expression “carrot-on-a-stick,” which conjures up the image of a carrot tied to a stick held just beyond the reach of a donkey to encourage the animal to go faster. In organizations, “carrots” refer to rewards or incentives dangled in front of employees to motivate them to strive toward some goal. These incentives range from coffee mugs to lucrative financial bonuses and everything in between. The obvious assumption is that employees are actually motivated ...

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