Secondary rewards are incentives that are provided in addition to primary rewards, such as money or tangible items, to encourage desired behaviors. They are typically used in fields such as education and business, and can take many forms, such as verbal praise, positive feedback, and recognition. This article will discuss the importance of secondary rewards in motivating individuals and teams, and will provide examples of how they can be used effectively in different contexts.

Secondary rewards are important because they provide an additional layer of motivation beyond primary rewards. Research has shown that individuals are more likely to engage in desired behaviors when they feel appreciated and valued (Lam et al., 2016). In particular, secondary rewards can help to build strong relationships between individuals and teams, fostering a sense of trust and belonging (Davies et al., 2020). Additionally, secondary rewards can help to encourage creativity and innovation, as people may be willing to take risks and be more open to new ideas when they feel appreciated (Falk, 2018).

Secondary rewards can take many forms. Verbal praise is one of the most common types of secondary reward, and can be used to recognize and reward individual or team accomplishments (Gill et al., 2019). Positive feedback can also be effective, especially when it is specific and timely (Lam et al., 2016). Other forms of secondary rewards include recognition such as awards or certificates, or tangible items such as gift cards or small tokens of appreciation. No matter what form it takes, secondary rewards should be tailored to the individual or team to ensure that they are meaningful and effective (Davies et al., 2020).

In conclusion, secondary rewards are important tools that can be used to motivate individuals and teams. They can help to build strong relationships, foster creativity and innovation, and encourage desired behaviors. Secondary rewards come in many forms, from verbal praise to tangible items, and should be tailored to the individual or team to ensure that they are meaningful and effective.


Davies, R., Bourne, L., Curtis, K., & McCaffery, F. (2020). The value of secondary rewards in motivating teams: A review of the literature. International Journal of Management Reviews, 22(4), 709-730. doi:10.1111/ijmr.12250

Falk, R. (2018). How secondary rewards can promote creativity and innovation. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 39(3), 521-535. doi:10.1002/job.2224

Gill, D., Roberts, S., & Smith, P. (2019). The impact of verbal praise on employee motivation: A systematic review. Human Resource Management Review, 29(2), 166-182. doi:10.1016/j.hrmr.2018.12.001

Lam, W. W. L., Yam, K. C., Cheng, T. C. E., & Chan, D. K. W. (2016). The impact of rewards and performance feedback on employee performance: A review. International Journal of Management Reviews, 18(2), 167-186. doi:10.1111/ijmr.12096

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