I have recently been working and immersing myself in the Agile space. Among other things, I have been inspired by the promise it holds for empowering a team and maximizing efficiency. However, I have had one niggling concern which I am yet to find a concrete solution for: reward schemes and incetivisation.
It is hardly debatable that one of the core focuses of Agile is "The Team". Cross-functional teams get together and commit to completing units of work as a team. This often involves testers helping developers and vice versa. Individual lines and roles are blurred in favour of maximising team cohesion. While the team is encouraged to self manage, realistically they cannot be responsible for ultimate reward and incentivisation schemes at an organisational level. Retrospectives are geared towards openness and trust, and are hardly the place to evaluate individual behaviour. However, this system in many ways resembles communism. This is obviously a harsh comparison, yet when I research reward schemes, for individuals who spend long durations in their Scrum/Kanban team, the focus is always team performance and thus comparing two developers from different teams is somewhat futile. While there absolutely is value in moving away from traditional, bureaucratic appraisal methods, I still feel anxious at the prospect of people not being rewarded on an individual basis too.
Thus my question is this: are individual reward systems completely contradictory to agile philosophies (is Agile literally ushering in a completely new paradigm in this respect?) and if not, how does one incorporate individual reward systems into an Agile landscape without completely sacrificing team cohesion?