Rewarding people with disabilities for the good behaviour and positive outcome: A positive initiative from Support Foundation.

Rewarding people with disabilities can be just as effective as rewarding anyone else for good performance. Here’s why:

  • Motivation: Rewards motivate everyone, regardless of ability. Recognition and appreciation for a job well done can increase engagement and encourage continued strong performance.
  • Positive Reinforcement: Like any employee, positive reinforcement through rewards can help people with disabilities develop their skills and continue to excel in their roles.
  • Focus on Performance: The focus should be on the quality of the work, not the disability. Rewarding good work reinforces the value the individual brings to the team.

Here are some things to consider making rewards effective:

  • Individualize the Reward: What motivates one person might not motivate another. Consider what the individual values and tailor the reward accordingly.
  • Focus on Effort and Achievement: Rewards can acknowledge both the effort put in and the achievement of goals.

It’s important to avoid treating rewards for people with disabilities differently than for anyone else. The key is to focus on the quality of the work and create a system of recognition that benefits everyone.

Contrary, rewards and bribes might seem like the same thing on the surface, but there are key differences in how they’re used and what message they convey. Here’s a breakdown:


  • For good behaviour: Offered after a desired behaviour is displayed.
  • Positive reinforcement: Encourages the repetition of the good behaviour.
  • Focus on achievement: Highlights the value the person brings by doing well.
  • Examples: Praise, bonus, extra time of service, gifts, certificates and many more. We at Support Foundation support these initiatives.


  • To influence behaviour: Offered before a desired behaviour, often to stop bad behaviour.
  • Short-term fix: May not encourage long-term positive behaviour change.
  • Power dynamic imbalance: Can make the person feel like they’re being controlled.
  • Examples: “I will give you ice cream, and you need to clean your room,” “I will give you a toy, don’t yell.”

In short, rewards are positive reinforcements for desired behaviours, while bribes are attempts to control behaviour through an immediate incentive.

This policy is also inspired by transactional leadership that is widely used in business. As effectively mentioned on transactional leadership, we also emphasize on structure, organization, and achievement of specific goals. Here’s a breakdown of key features we implement at Support Foundation by implementing transactional leadership:

Core Principles:

  • Exchange: Transactional leadership revolves around the idea of a transaction – followers receive rewards based on their performance in achieving goals set by the leader or management.
  • Focus on outcomes: The primary emphasis is on achieving specific, measurable results. Efficiency and productivity are central to this style.
  • Clarity and structure: Transactional leaders provide clear expectations, deadlines, and performance metrics. This creates a structured environment where roles and responsibilities are well-defined.
  • Short-term focus: While long-term goals may exist, transactional leadership is more concerned with achieving short-term objectives that contribute to the bigger picture.

Strengths of Transactional Leadership:

  • Efficiency and productivity: The clear structure and focus on results can lead to increased efficiency and productivity within a team.
  • Stability and predictability: The well-defined roles and expectations create a stable and predictable work environment, which can be beneficial for certain employees.
  • Motivation through rewards: A well-designed reward system can motivate employees to achieve set goals.

Where Transactional Leadership is Effective:

  • Stable environments: This style works well in environments with well-defined tasks and established procedures.
  • Short-term projects: For projects with clear goals and deadlines, transactional leadership can ensure efficient completion.
  • Motivating performance: If employees are primarily motivated by external rewards, a transactional approach can be effective.

Overall, transactional leadership is a valuable tool in a leader’s or management toolbox. It excels at creating stability, achieving clear goals, and motivating performance through rewards. However, it’s important to be aware of its limitations.

The Australian Government, through the Department of Social Services (the department), has developed Employ My Ability – the Disability Employment Strategy, to provide a guiding framework for governments, employers and the broader community to increase employment outcomes for people with disability (a rewarding initiative from Australian Government). Different State and Territory governments offer cards and concession (reward) to people with disability which gives people with disability a discount on different services, products like doctors visit and medicine, public transport, gas and electricity and many more, we also intend to do something similar by our rewarding policy. These all services uplift the wellbeing of people living with disabilities. So, at Support Foundation, we ran a pilot program to reward any positive outcome achieved by people with disabilities and have observed significant improvements on the outcome on medication compliance, self-care, participation on skill development activities, engagement with allied health professionals and healthcare providers. After successful pilot program, we have now implemented this strategy in our policy and procedure and will be applicable for all the participants associated with Support Foundation. Any positive initiative taken by the participants to benefit their wellbeing and overall performance of an organization will be rewarded. CSR funds has been allocated to support this initiative.

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