The truth is you really do not need to reward people to improve performance.What you need to do is measure those things that are critical and ensure that the results of the measurements are communicated and used. People generally have the motivation, what they lack is a clear understanding of management expectations.
An example from last month.
We collect end-of-month mileage on vehicles. While people were told we need the data entered into the system right away, it rarely happened. Enter an automated monthly report that ranks each department in the city’s performance where Same Day = Excellence; Next Business Day = On Time; other dates = LATE and missing entries as NO REPORT.
The report was emailed to City Manager and each director. Directors see that City Manager gets the e-mail and how they stand with their peers. Directors also get a seprate work unit report for their department to tell them how their individual units responded. Email responses from the directors cam virtually immediately. Only one tried to alibi out, and they were encouraged to change their process so that they can comply.
These are basic concepts in both LEAN and SIX SIGMA.