Carrot & Stick Approach
According to Joseph Nye, the term ‘carrot & stick’ is the ability to use the carrot & stick of economic and military might to make others follow your will. From his (international relations) perspective, carrots are inducements such as trade barriers, offer of an alliance or the promise of military protection.
On the other hand, sticks are threats that include the use of coercive diplomacy, the threat of harsh military intervention, or the implementation of economic sanctions. Hence, it’s a policy of offering a combination of rewards and punishment to induce good behavior as well as pro-activeness.
Ernest Wilson describes it as the capacity to coerce “another to act in ways in which that entity would not have acted otherwise.’’ In other words, you get your employees to do what they wouldn’t do under regular or normal circumstances. There is a push, either positive or negative.
In modern usage, the idea has also come to be used in a related idiom, “the carrot or the stick.” However, this refers to the process of weighing or deciding whether a desired behavior would be better accelerated via the enticement of benefits or the threat or use of punishments.
HOW EFFECTIVE IS THE APPROACH FOR EMPLOYEES?
Effective management is about personal interaction and relationships. This includes the ability to respect, appreciate, listen, and cooperate with others regardless of backgrounds. When employees are consulted on their ideas and expertise, they tend to be committed and willing to go the extra mile. This simple act gives them a sense of responsibility, makes them feel needed. So, they tend to do more work to meet further expectations.
While both the carrot & stick approach can serve to motivate and influence the desired behaviors, dangling the carrot can prove to be more effective in encouraging employees towards better performance. Of course, except with obstinate employees who enjoy the stick approach, you should also try to adopt the use of hard power. Therefore, the stick should only be considered in the areas of corporate compliance.
Consequently, tapping on an employees ingrained need for growth and achievement, significant and tangible results can be reached with true encouragement as well as empowerment. Truth be told, all of these will improve employee retention in this flexible industry, where talents are hard to discover. While an employee is a bit lazy, he or she does not like to be sidelined in anyway whatsoever. Hence, there is a will to try and encouragement fuels it.
In order to experience the effectiveness of the carrot & stick approach, here are a few tactics that could help;
- Pay increment on a regular basis
- Subsidy of basic needs like food, housing, etc.
- Travel concession
- Try reimbursing medical expenses
- Availability of allowance and bonus
- Occasional cash awards
- Granting leave with pay
Other carrot approach may include;
- Conferral of authority
- Assigning a challenging task to an employee (You trust them to fix it, thereby offering a sense of importance)
- Termination of appointment
- Try scraping annual salary increment
- Transfer such employee to an ill-fitting city of environment
- Striping VETO power as well as authority
WHAT DO YOU GET?
You can describe a perfect employee in a million ways, depending on how best they serve you. Generally, though, a standard employee breathes in an atmosphere of accurate and effective planning skills, as well as first-class eloquence. In addition, this includes the ability to solve problems on their own and work within a team structure at the same time without hassle.
Subsequently, the carrot & stick approach can go a long way towards producing a proactive employee. Being proactive means having the ability to create or control situations by making something happen, as opposed to simply responding to something after a push, a pep talk or the fact. It is both an action and also a result oriented behavior, where employees act instead of react.
We are humans, never satisfied with what we have. It’s either we don’t want to be at loss or we want to get more out of life. The threat helps a great deal too. The conditions, positive (carrot) or negative (stick), tend to squeeze out the very best in your employees. It also makes them figure out several ways of getting good work done.
The best part is that each carrot & stick action is geared towards obtaining certain desired result, which is what you want. While you chastise them, don’t forget to commend them when they do something that blows your mind. So, which system works best for you, carrot, stick, or both? Let’s know what you think.