Suzy Sallam career, leadership and interview coaching

Empower Them To Own It

You want to motivate your team and get them to work better and faster. You want to raise engagement scores and address retention rates.

Then how about offering your people better bonuses and reward packages?

Or how about introducing the threat of a bad appraisal for those who aren’t performing as well as others?



When any leader introduces rewards and penalties, i.e. a carrot and a stick, they may encourage faster delivery, but on the other hand this only creates sloppier decisions that lead to mistakes. What’s more, this carrot and stick approach creates an unhealthy competitive culture where people crave the rewards more than social connectedness and, in turn, creativity is stifled.

Intrinsic vs Extrinsic Motivation

Rewards and penalties are what I consider extrinsic motivation. That means the motivation is as a result of something other than the task at hand; the activity in itself is not seen as a rewarding one. Ever felt like you wanted to get on with something fast just to nail the commission this month?

Conversely, making the activity or the task rewarding in itself, your team will naturally work harder and smarter of their own volition.

So how do you create this change?


Give your team a degree of ownership over what they are doing, let them co-create WITH you rather than work FOR you.. and remember to credit them for their hard work.

Research by Gallup Consultancy shows that people want to be engaged from the heart around something bigger than them; they want to co-create, they want to be recognised for their contribution and they want to belong. Gallup’s hierarchy of Engagement below gives useful insight into what engages and retains people at work.


It’s important that your team feel a degree of autonomy and have control over what they are doing. That means empowering them to make decisions if they need to, and have the necessary accountability that comes with that responsibility.

Of course, you need to make sure you have the right people on your team in the first place. Some people just won’t feel passionate about what your team does, and sometimes its best to stop convincing a fish to climb a tree.

Suzy Sallam

I am a Career and Leadership Coach on a mission to help professionals just like you, experience the confidence and satisfaction that comes from being authentic to yourself and living in a fulfilling career.

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