An integral part of any organization today is it's rewards and recognition program. These incentives are generally given on a monthly, quarterly or yearly basis ( the less frequent the award, the more desired it is ). In some cases you even have awards given on a weekly basis. Regardless of the frequency, the goal is to ensure that the employee feels appreciated and that his/her work has not gone unnoticed. It also serves as a great way of pushing people to do better.

There are number of resources ( both free and paid ) available on the internet that will give you a more detailed idea of how an effective R&R program can be setup and managed. Over the years I've noticed people respond a lot better to recognition of achievement than monetary rewards.  A meal with the head of a department, a certificate publicly awarded, a poster on a wall goes a long way towards making the employee feel a lot more appreciated than a bit of money ( thought it doesn't hurt ) . Not to mention instilling a need in his/her colleagues to get that award the next time!

The bottom line is to figure out ways to motivate your people, and with Knowledge Management it is no different. One of the biggest challenges in Knowledge Management these days is getting people actively involved.

Unlike other initiatives which use a mix of the carrot and stick approach, KM can only be promoted using the carrot, you need to have passionate and motivated people at the helm if you want great results. Getting them on board by any means is what you should be aiming to do.

The challenge

Now the challenge is, what motivates the average users to contribute towards the system? Is it the rewards or the recognition?  While i do believe the latter is more coveted from what I've seen its a balance between both.

However, for the long term sustainability of any KM initiative there has to a be focused move from a rewards based system to one of recognition. For one, its cheaper , second and more importantly, studies done in corporates have shown that the single largest motivator amongst employees is recognition by their peers and superiors.

Knowledge Management is that perfect platform that enables even the youngest of employees’ to show case their ideas and talents on a corporate platform. It ensures that if you are good at what you do, your voice isn’t lost in the crowd. This, i feel is the biggest selling point of KM to the average employee. It goes without saying there has to be merit in the KM program itself and the benefits it brings.

All said and done the driving force behind KM implementation for an organization is a little different. Numbers speak volumes, and unless corporates see a monetary benefit towards implementing a KM initiative, chances are they’d rather invest the money somewhere else. So while setting up a rewards and recognition system for KM is a great step you need to have done your groundwork to ensure that you have a robust program in place.