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Belt team incentives

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  • #27771

    Rick Thomson
    Member

    I recently read a message posted here regarding apathetic Six Sigma team members.  Their resentment apparently was caused by financial incentives given to the belts, but not to the team members themselves. 
     My company rewards the BB upon certification and completion of two projects totalling a specific $$ amount of savings.  Currently there is no financial rewards for Greenbelts upon certification. 
     As a manager (and Blackbelt) in charge of my business unit’s Six Sigma initiatives, I would like to propose TEAM rewards for the successful completion of their project.  Does anyone have any experience with successful incentive programs for Six Sigma projects?
    It is my understanding that any cash rewards over $25 require 1099 filing, etc…so I would like to explore other alternatives such as gift certificates, time off, etc…
    Any ideas for both Greenbelt certification and/or team-member rewards? 

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    #68463

    Annonymous
    Participant

    Rick – The limit on 1099 is $600 per person per year, and you only need to file these for people who are NOT already your employees.  For employees, there’s a simple “other compensation” category that you file with their regular W-2.  The regular tax withholding system kicks in and does it’s thing. Much less paperwork for both company and employee. 
    Also, if you make the rewards such things as working-hours parties, special team shirts or jackets, framed photos of the team with top managers, placques and certificates, etc. then these are a regular cost of doing business and have no tax implications for the recipients.  In addition, many of these non-monetary awards work better than money at enhancing team identification and team performance. And you don’t have to exclude your contract employees and either suppliers or customers who participate on your teams.

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    #68506

    Anonymous
    Participant

    My company has both a BB incentive program and a team incentive program.  (The BB’s portion of the team award is limited to 10% because there is a separate BB incentive program.)  In theory, they were avoiding the problem you mentioned.  Unfortunately, the criteria for the team award to kick is not well communicated, so it is less of an incentive than it could be.  Also, the criteria for the BB incentive program (based on verified Hard $ savings) is beyond what I reasonably expect to achieve because I am in a service function with little opportunity for large $ savings projects. 
    The BB incentive program has been modified for the second year’s trainees.  I hope that was a response to the feedback from the first year’s program, however, that doesn’t motivate me (other than to look for projects outside my “home” function with bigger savings potential).

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    #68522

    Shaun Dunphy
    Member

    In my previous company, at a national level (UK) we had an annual dinner for all successful teams.  Each team member received a small memento of the evening, e.g. two engraved wine glasses in a presentation box.  Teams could also submit a case study which would be judged by the governance board.  The second place team received a day out locally. The winning team were given a weekend away, e.g. travel from London to Paris and accommodation.  They were also entered into our parent company’s global award program.  There was an annual global conference at which one team from each country presented their case study before their peers and an independent group of judges. A significant financial award was given to the #1 team globally.
    The key themes were recognition of effort and achievement, celebration of success and healthy competition. Costs were small compared with the returns from multiple improvement projects.
    Shaun

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    #68526

    Bob Smyth
    Participant

    All team members should receive incentive awards in the form varoius forms depending on the benefits – cash, awards, luncheon, time off and recognize in front of all employee and with senior management.

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    #68535

    Michael Young
    Participant

    Caterpillar, Peoria, Illinois, has insituted a gain-sharing program for Black Belts, Green Belts, and ad hoc team members with significant contributions. They also have a Green Belt certification process.

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    #68540

    Brad M.
    Participant

    Does anyone have any interest in discussing this in the “Join a Chat” format? I would be interested in talking to anyone using an incentive system about the specifics of how their company has approached incentives (BB & Team). For example, if a project saves $200k the BB incentive is x% and the Team incentive is y%. I will check back to see if there is an interest.blm

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    #68541

    Brad M.
    Participant

    Does anyone have any interest in discussing this in the “Join a Chat” format? I would be interested in talking to anyone using an incentive system about the specifics of how their company has approached incentives (BB & Team). For example, if a project saves $200k the BB incentive is x% and the Team incentive is y%. I will check back to see if there is an interest.blm

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    #68544

    Thomas C. Trible
    Member

    Your complaint about team members not receiving rewards – just the Black Belts – identifies a problem with most reward systems.  That is the problem of unintended consequences.  The reward process has outcomes just opposite of what is intended.  Rewards in school, at home and on the job do not accomplish what they set out to do – encourage or motivate.  Rewards are actually intended to manipulate behavior.  In the words of Alfie Kohn, “Do this and you will get that.  We dangle goodies (from candy bars to sales commissions) in front of people in much the same way that we train the family pet.”
    Isn’t improving processes part of your normal job responsibilities?  It would be if you were working at Toyota and Honda.  Why would you want to be “rewarded” for doing your job?
    Being recognized is important.  Earning fair compensation for your work is important.  Knowing that you are making a contribution to the success of the organization is important.  Rewards?  No.  Just don’t do it.
    I urge you to read “Punished by Rewards:  The Trouble with Gold Stars, Incentive Plans, A’s, Praise and Other Bribes,” by Alfie Kohn.
     
     

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    #68686

    Bernard McGarvey
    Participant

    I tend to agree with Mr. Trible. This goes way back to Deming. Scholtes also addresses it in his book  “The Leadership Handbook”. If you are fairly compensated, why do you need rewards to make you work harder. This does not mean that you don’t want to recogmfro a job well done. It is simply a matter of the culture that says I need to rewrd to make me perform better. Motivation can only be intrinsic, not extrinsic.

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    #68687

    Bernard McGarvey
    Participant

     
    My first message got a bit garbled.
    I tend to agree with Mr. Trible. This goes way back to Deming. Scholtes also addresses it in his book  “The Leadership Handbook”. If you are fairly compensated, why do you need rewards to make you work harder. This does not mean that you don’t want to recognized for a job well done. It is simply a matter of the culture that says I need to be rewarded by someone to make me perform better. Motivation can only be intrinsic, not extrinsic.

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    #68752

    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hey, I get it.  Lets keep all the money.  Screw the team players that just saved the company 100,000.  It’s a great concept, get people that you pay to do a specific job and tell them they have to contribute more, lots more.  Usurp their ideas then keep all the money.  Wow, capitalism at its best.  What the heck they should be glad they have a job, right.  giggle,giggle.
    flyman

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