Reply To: Have you used token rewards?

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Ong Chuan Leong

While I have not actually coached athletes before, I was the team lead for the sports publications project during the recently concluded 28th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, and had 2 co-workers supporting me (but not directly reporting to me). So in essence, I was the ‘coach’ and they were the ‘athletes’. The collaboration was for a period of 15 months.

Examples of token rewards I have implemented were:

1. Periodic acknowledgment and praise for their efforts and achievements. This is particularly important as since my project goals weren’t about winning competitions, I paid close attention to their work and acknowledge their efforts and any minor achievements that came along the way, to help keep them motivated.

2. Souvenirs and meals – these complement my verbal acknowledgment and praises, so that my ‘athletes’ can have something physical/tangible to take away, as an affirmation and reminder of their efforts and achievements.

However, I feel that it is also important not to give your ‘athletes’ an overdose of token awards as they may lose their motivational powers or lead to a sense of complacency among your ‘athletes’.