032 How To Effectively Link Rewards To Performance Indicators with Denise Liebetrau


Don’t play small. Give yourself permission to play bigger. You can do it. Recognize what your zone of genius is; figure out what you don’t know; find someone who has done it well before you and go learn from them. – Denise Liebetrau

Hey everyone! If you are looking to be inspired or want to rekindle your passion for your work, then you’re in for a treat today.

My guest is Denise Liebetrau, the Founder and CEO of Prosper Consulting, an HR & Compensation Consulting Firm based in Denver, Colorado. Today our topic is How to Effectively Link Rewards to Performance Indicators. I know many of you who are listening have probably seen this done incorrectly in the corporate world. I certainly have, so I’m really excited to talk to someone who knows how to do that effectively and the right way.

In this episode, we dive into:

  • Defining your priorities,
  • Being intentional in building relationships,
  • Consistency in giving out rewards,
  • The importance of considering ‘how’ things get done, instead of just focusing on the ‘what’,
  • Building habits,
  • Knowing your worth, and a whole lot more.

Denise shared a lot of golden nuggets in this episode, so click that play button to listen! Don’t forget to subscribe and rate us on Apple Podcasts!

Defining your priorities

I have worked in many corporate environments where you have so much workload and so many things on your plate. If you don’t prioritize that tremendous list into the top two to three things you need to focus on in the next month, 6 months and year, you can get so scattered that you don’t really make big progress on anything.

So be really clear about what those top two or three things are, and then the rest, you can park them. You can’t do everything.

Be Consistent

One of the things that I’ve seen happen over and over again is having too many metrics, and then the people’s focus become diluted and they go, “What’s important, then? Everything seems important, so what am I supposed to work on?”

Or they will say one thing, “We’re going to reward this” but in reality they actually reward other things.

It takes discipline from a senior leadership to stay consistent, so you need to think about what you’re going to reward and how you’re going to embed that in the DNA and culture of the company.

Consider how goals are accomplished

When I look at performance, I look at it in four categories. There’s the financial metrics, customer metrics, process or operations, and learning and growth. But it’s not just about what you accomplish in those categories, it’s how you accomplish them.

So many times I see people tie rewards to what’s being accomplished, but they don’t talk about how it’s being done. You can have a strong salesperson who’s bringing in some large customers, but they’re leaving a bloodbath in their wake in terms of how they’re treating their colleagues. They run over people in their effort to close a sale or get resources in order for them to have a little bit of an edge so they can get ahead.

So you have to be very conscientious as leaders to make sure you’re not just rewarding what is being done, but how it’s being done.

Links and Resources

Connect with Denise: LinkedIn


Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones by James Clear

Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World by Cal Newport

A complete list of Denise’ book recommendations