Workplace Recognition and Incentive Programs

Reward for Results

Posted on May 3, 2011 by Motivo Staff in Uncategorized

The best way to reward individuals varies but is a necessary foundation for efficient management. Cash is in no way the only motivator of people, however too little cash de-motivates absolutely. Studies have proven that once the basics of salary and job security are met, tangible rewards are more effective than money to motivate.

1. Determine Levels of Reward

Appropriate rewards are something valued by the intended recipient. Think about what level of reward will entice, retain and inspire people of the caliber that you require. If an employee does one thing that leads to a one-time boost for the company, a one-time incentive is most appropriate. However, if the action provides ongoing benefit to the company then something more substantial is in order.

2. Why Give Workers Added Rewards In Addition To Wages?

Understand that the principle purpose of giving a worker a reward is that you want distinctive results, not comparable performance. Adequate work does not warrant reward but distinctive effort will command an appropriate reward.

- Employee rewards needs to be set for noteworthy achievements

- Rewards have to be related to a predetermined target activity

- Staff will be encouraged to repeat their latest achievements

- Ensure the employee is aware of why they are receiving the award

-The award should make an emotional connection with the employee

3. Employee rewards should not be an alternate for reasonable compensation

Recognition and compensation are not the same thing. We work for a salary that is based on job type, our experience and ability to perform these tasks. Recognition is provided as a means to show employees that their contributions are appreciated over and above the norm. Excellent execution and conscientiousness should be recognized so that level of performance will persist and set an example for other employees.

When money is used as a reward it becomes part of their compensation in the employee’s mind and is mixed in with their pay and is therefore not distinctive. It ceases to motivate over time and becomes an entitlement.

4. Reward for Results

Employee rewards should be based mostly on results, whether you need an increase in production or an elevation of creative output.  The employee knows what is expected and what the outcome will be.  In theory, this gives the employee the most effective incentive to maximize output as long as he believes the company will honor their word and can live up to the promises made. In actual fact, employees tend to put a ceiling on their earnings and thus on their effort. Rewards then can trigger increased effort and transcend this self imposed ceiling.

Nonetheless, the key concept is that management should only give an employee reward that is tied to personal achievement. The rewards have to be moderately significant to have value – nobody likes getting a very small reward. It may be insulting and have the opposite effect creating a negative view of the company or more importantly seeing themselves and their work as undervalued.  Never reward a worker for what has been accepted as a common objective. It needs to be given for above and beyond achievements only.

A 2010 McKinsey study found that the best workplace motivators appeal directly to the emotions, with 67 percent listing praise or recognition from an immediate manager as “effective” or “extremely effective.”  What’s more, respondents found all emotionally based motivators to be more effective than financial ones.