a carrot and stick

a carrot and stick (approach)

rewards and punishments that influence someone's behavior Our company uses a carrot and stick - more money is the carrot, loss of your job is the stick.
Usage notes: used in different forms to describe different combinations of rewards and punishments: Management's proposed deal is all stick and no carrot. The latest round of peace talks offers both sides the carrot as well as the stick.
Etymology: based on the reward of a carrot (a long orange vegetable) and the punishment of using a stick to encourage a horse to move
See also: and, carrot, stick
References in periodicals archive ?
The Government used to talk about a carrot and stick approach to persuade us to use our cars less.