"Reward can only make a positive contribution if it supports the employment relationship and supports the psychological needs of employees. If it does not do this, it becomes a threat, and can have severe negative impact."

Business advisor Daniel Hibbert focuses here on the question of employment policy, specifically, how to encourage individual initiative in the digital age. He begins by illustrating how the Romans paid their army personnel. This ancient system of pay based on rank or general duties and responsibilities became the global standard for a long time in private and public employment. But with the coming of the industrial revolution, ordinary workers became disaffected by working merely for pay. They lacked the intrinsic reward of feeling a connection to their work. This led to employers offering more benefits, pensions, and bonuses. But these are only extrinsic rewards; workers also need psychological rewards such as feeling that they are helping others, that they are part of a team with a shared vision, and that their part of the work is important.

Hibbert advises that in the digital age, employment policy has now to consider a new possibility, that of direct immediate reward for individual achievement and initiative. Company loyalty and static employment with slow upward advancement still exist, but are no longer the norm. Digital age workers have more fluid “career paths.” There has to be a way to quickly reward those who add clear and measurable value to the company. Hibbert says that this kind of reward, utilized in appropriate contexts, offers promise of positive employment relationships and, if ignored, can become a threat to those relationships.

Hibbert has extensive experience consulting with global professional career services. He has organized his book simply and displays a clear vision of the information he conveys. Thunder Cloud makes the case that reward, if handled properly, can be an innovative, constructive factor in the overall functioning of a business.

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