Every individual is motivated by different things. Money, awards or even just public praise are all parts of motivation. In this lesson, we will dig a little deeper and look at the forms of incentive and rewards programs.
Motivation and Performance
Motivation is an interesting concept. What motivates one person may not necessarily motivate someone else. Now, back in the olden days, people were motivated by sheer survival. If you think about it, back in the day of the settlers or even as far back as the cavemen coming out of the cave, the motivation was to eat and have shelter just to survive. Over the years that has obviously changed and companies have come up with ways to motivate individuals. We will talk about motivation in this lesson and identify some motivational or performance incentive programs.
One of the most common ways that companies put motivation programs into action is by putting together some type of incentive system. Incentives are a type of reward system where somehow an individual receives some type of motivation for their performance. The reason I say 'some type of motivation' is that it can be cash, it could be a trip, tickets to a sporting event, time off or maybe even an award. Let us break down the different categories of incentive programs.
- Monetary: This type of program incentivizes workers for performance and productivity by giving them more money. The money, if you will, can take the shape of employee stock options, profit sharing plans, paid time off, bonuses, and even cash. These rewards can be given over a period of time. They can be annual, semiannual or any one of a number of options.
- Non-monetary: Moving away from the monetary aspect of incentive programs, non-monetary programs do not use money but instead use perks or different types of rewards. For example, an organization might include flexible work hours, additional training opportunities, or the ability for an employee to take time off to go to school and learn a new trade. All of these are examples of non-monetary reward.
- Employee Recognition: Employee recognition is a means for employers to offer feedback and encouragement to their employees. This type of program can include verbal praise, some type of award or maybe even a public announcement when an employee does an exceptional job. Many individuals surveyed continually state that they would like employee recognition programs as much if not more than monetary programs. What this tells us is a job well done and recognition of that job by the organization is something that makes people feel motivated.
Motivation and Productivity
With all this focus on reward systems and incentives, we have to take a moment to understand how the reward system or the incentive program can actually help increase production or employee performance. This is actually very simple and very logical once we take the time to analyze it. For an incentive program to work, it must touch on the needs of the employees (as far as motivation is concerned) and it must match to the goals of the organization.
For example, if an organization wishes to have zero defects but installs incentive programs for how fast an employee can build a product, there might be more mistakes because the employees are building the product faster to actually receive the reward. In this case, the employee receives an award for building a faster product, but it does not match the goals of the organization. Conversely, if employees are motivated by public recognition and an organization puts in an incentive program that includes bonus pay in the employee's check, it does not match to the employees' motivation needs, even though they will probably like the extra money.
You see, motivation is a very personal thing. Each of us is motivated in a different way at different times in our life by different motivating factors. Someone might be motivated by getting additional time off, while another person would be motivated by simply getting more money.
Regardless of what the motivation is there are still only three main categories of motivation. Once again, they are monetarily incentivizing workers for performance and productivity by giving them more money, non-monetary incentives that use perks or different types of rewards rather than cash, and finally employee recognition, which uses a method that has no monetary value but recognizes an employee for a job well done.
Complete this video lesson in preparation to:
- Display your knowledge of some perks that organizations offer as motivation for their employees
- Cite the three categories of motivation
- Discuss reward systems as they relate to employee productivity
- Determine what is required for incentive programs to be successful