A couple of interesting findings are thrown up by recent research published in the Journal of Business Research, looking at the effect of individual vs. group reward & evaluation systems on group work behaviour, performance and cooperation.
Firstly that within a group, competitive individuals do better (of course!) but that groups cooperating as a whole, do better. This means that rewarding individual performance could be counter productive to the organisation as it often leads to internal competition within groups.
The second interesting point is that using a group reward system will identify not only the best individuals but also the worst performers. These people actually aren’t shirkers so much as ‘self-sacrificers’ and who importantly act to boost the performance of others but whose value isn’t captured in traditional individual performance measures.
So let’s remember that it’s often NOT the people who are jumping up & down trying to get noticed who we need to pay attention to, and that these findings are valid not only within organisations but in wider social settings right through to the playground!
View the full article here.