An award shouldn’t be a punishment
What caught my eye today while having lunch was a promotion flyer from a Slovenian investment company advertising a new “product”. They will be awarding prizes to anyone joining their investment plan – everybody gets something. And that’s not all – if you write a sentence about the fund you’ll be included in a draw for five major prizes. Unfortunately they were thinking about the money too much (and on the other side thanks god – they’re an investment firm) and made the main prize a true punishment. The winner will get a one week vacation in Sharm el-Sheik for ONE person. It’s not the history of the place that’s the punishment but the fact that it’s only for one person. Since they’re not targeting hard core investors (that are by definition closer to the “unrealistically selfish” homo economicus) there’s about zero probability that the winner won’t have anyone that she’d want to share this prize with. You can belive me that’s not gonna be one happy winner/user. So she’s got a “simple” choice – go alone or invest in another ticket & accomodation (if available at all). Or maybe she can sell it on eBay or the local Bolha for that matter.
The company probably doesn’t care about my opinion or my money (that’s not going to be invested in their funds) but I hope they change their attitude anyway. Maybe someday…
To prove this can actually be done I’ll share a story. I was at a meeting with a client when we were deciding about a prize in a prize winning game. Not the actual prize yet but the type of the prize. What somebody mentioned a trip to Paris what really made me happy was that the first thing they said was: “The award should be a full package – no additional expenses required.” It’s in such small things you really see a companies attitude towards the people that make them possible/profitable.