There is this perception that incentives can lead to improved performance if employees are able to perform better, if they want the incentives, and if there are few constraints. Incentives are in essence the amount or type of rewards that employees in a given organization can get by achieving a particular target. Sometimes, companies offer incentives to their employees in the form of gift items, cash, or organizing events for high achieving employees (Stiffler, 2006).
In many ways, this perception is true since there is always an assumption that rewards, especially if they are monetary, have the effect of improving the cognitive performance of individuals in any given industry. Research findings indicate that in most cases, performance of most people improve under monetary incentives. On the other hand, the performance becomes very low when errors are punished (Stiffler, 2006).
When gauging improvement, there is the view that most people do not improve when they are punished for errors (Stiffler, 2006). Instead, performance is still able to improve as long as there are no penalties and there are is a fast and accurate reward for improved performance. Any organization that is willing to go to the next level must constantly look for ways of keeping their employees and work groups occupied with their work (Eckerson, 2010). These employees also need to be motivated, efficient, and also industrious. The success of an organization is hugely dependent on its capacity to establish the circumstances and arrangements that entice the people to work (Watkins, 2009). This can either be formal or informal (Eckerson, 2010).
In many ways, a good system of incentives has the effect of encouraging the employees not only to be prolific but also to be innovative. Furthermore, it fosters loyalty among the employees who are very productive (Eckerson, 2010). Such a system, if effectively used, can even go as far as stimulating innovation. If incentive programs are selected, implemented, and monitored in the right way, the end result will be an improvement in performance (Stiffler, 2006).
Additionally, research findings indicate that incentive programs are usually bale to increase interest at the place of work (Watkins, 2009). Whenever programs are initially offered for the completion of a particular task, research indicates that this results in a 15% increase in performance (Eckerson, 2010). On the other hand, when the same people are requested to persevere towards a certain goal, their performance will most likely increase by approximately 27%. However, when incentives are introduced, these individuals will be encouraged to think even smarter. As a result, they are likely to increase their performance by a further 26% (Lusthaus et al., 2002).
The success of an organization is usually dependent on the quality of employees it has. In this regard, organizations that offer incentive programs are better positioned to attract and even retain high quality of workers (Lusthaus et al., 2002). In comparison to organizations which do not offer any incentives, such organizations are able to get a good workforce. This is simply just because job seekers will definitely be willing to work in organizations that offer them incentives (Stiffler, 2006).
Research indicates that long term incentive programs in most cases do better than short term incentive programs (Watkins, 2009). Studies indicate that incentive programs that run for over twelve months or more have the effect of producing an average of 44% increase in performance (Lusthaus et al., 2002). This is in comparison to programs than go for less than six months. Such programs are able to produce a paltry 30% increase in performance. On the other hand incentive programs that take seven days less are able to yield a boost of only 20% (Eckerson, 2010).
Most employees and executives recognize the significance of incentives programs. When all things are put into consideration, the result is that managers and employees highly regard incentive programs (Stiffler, 2006). Again, a big percentage of executives and employees complain about how these incentive programs are implemented. In most cases, incentive programs that reward performance on the basis of meeting or exceeding their targets have the impact of generating the most positive results (Eckerson, 2010).
People’s View on Incentives in Relation to Employees
According to most people, employee motivation is perhaps the most essential factor for the accomplishment and productivity of all the facets of an organization (Watkins, 2009). As a matter of fact, it is such a vital issue that an organization cannot handle it on the basis of hit and miss (Lusthaus et al., 2002). A study conducted by some people noted that for incentives to work well there has to be a desired performance type and level that can be measured in terms of quantity (Lusthaus et al., 2002). This enables an employee to set his/her own targets in order to qualify for the incentive. An organization should also put up goals that are not just challenging, but also attainable (Stiffler, 2006).
Additionally, the present performance of the organization ought to be below standard in order for the employees to see the sense of urgency in improving performance (Eckerson, 2010). The reasons behind the insufficient performance should also be connected to the paucity in motivation (Stiffler, 2006). For an incentive program to succeed, an organization should put in place a system that focuses on a particular behavior. The particular behavior should not be in variance with or take precedence over the day to day goals of the organization (Watkins, 2009).
The main motive of any employee incentive program is not just to increase productivity, but also to assist them to enjoy their work. Incentives must never be used as a way of replacing pay rises, in as much as they are quite effective in improving performance (Eckerson, 2010).
Motivational Incentives for Employees
Prior to the implementation of employee incentive programs, for the sake of not being left out in the decision making, the very employees should be left to decide on the best way of doing so (Stiffler, 2006). When prepared and put into operation in an effective way, incentives not only boost up confidence, but also generate motivated teams that are devoted to the success of an organization (Lusthaus et al., 2002).
One of the best ways of improving the performance of employees is to offer them corporate memberships. This may be in form of low-priced gym memberships or access to executive suites at neighboring sports arenas (Stiffler, 2006). These programs can go a long way in advancing employee welfare as well as facilitate business associations. It is also important to look after the welfare of those that matter to the employees. This can be in form of showing gratitude for the employee by involving their people in their work life (Stiffler, 2006).
All in all, in as much as incentives for employees contribute to a lot in motivating the employees, organizations should be careful about the whole issue (Pattanayak, 2005). A variety of employee programs should be utilized only when the organization is in such a situation where it needs employees to make extra effort (Eckerson, 2010). Giving out incentives must not be in such a way that the employees are in anticipation of getting rewards even for doing what they are employed to do. It is important to strike a balance. Giving out incentives should be done when employees are worthy of it since it is a key to high motivational levels and improved efficiency (Stiffler, 2006).