This month's cover story subject—Daniel Pink—turns many of the beliefs companies have about employee incentives upside down. In my opinion, he's onto something. Incentives can backfire in so many ways. In their simplest form, they're often the reason consumers are upsold or pushed toward various brands and models when they try to purchase an appliance or a car. Even incentives for nonsales employees—like years-of-service awards—can send the wrong message if they reward lackluster employees ...

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