Motivation and Reward Systems

The success of a company is measured by the profits that it makes. As a result of the changes in the market, this view needs to be altered. Comparing with the past, even though profit is vital in a company, it is not the most important factor. In the contemporary world, the employees of an establishment are the key factors in deciding success or failure. Companies have motivation and reward systems in use though it is unlikely that two different companies can have the same type of motivation. When reward systems and motivation are in use, employees are likely to work more efficiently which can make other key staff members with perfect skills and high degrees of work performance to be attracted to that company. Reward system management refers to a framework of envisioning the formulation of various reward systems, which can boost a salesperson's motivation. Reward system and motivations are vital in company operational management.

The motivation of employees is a psychological feature wherein employees are stimulated in order for them to behave in a given manner with the main goal of accomplishing some given organizational objectives. It is important that organizations motivate their employees so as to obtain the best from them. The level of motivation in the sales force needs to be higher to enable them to meet the sales aims efficiently. Central to motivation is offering the employees with what they need most from the work they are doing (Agarwal, 1998, p. 102). The more the manager can provide what the workers want, the more he or she should have expectations of obtaining what he or she wants, which includes service, quality, and productivity.

A motivation practice and philosophy, which is positive leads to improved service, quality, and productivity. The motivation of employees leads to the gaining of a new perspective, goals achievement, the creation of the power to cause changes, the building capability and self-esteem and management of one's own development, and the ability to assist others in their development. On the other hand, it is vital to consider the disadvantages of motivating workers. The drawbacks associated with employees' motivation are limited, but so many challenges accompany them.

However, these should be overcome for effective motivation. The barriers for motivation include absent and unaware managers, outdated equipment, entrenched attitude, and inadequate building. In this regard, some of the complains from employees may include the lack of extra money to make them work harder, citing that something always has been done in a particular manner, and managers failing to have any clue on how the workers carry on things. Additionally, the workers may argue that the job description does not state something they are asked to do and with them vowing to do as little as possible each day. To break these barriers, the proofs of experience, perseverance, and persuasion are necessary.

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It is imperative to emphasize that organizations no longer expect supreme performance from the workforce in the absence of incentives. Nowadays, the rate of competition from the paychecks has led to the restructuring of rules to include enticing ones, and the retaining of a strong and proactive workforce. Companies continue to open their minds on employee motivation and the various ways in which it can be accomplished. New reward systems aimed at making companies establish better benefits in the competitive benefits market have continued to evolve (Cameron, Pierce, 2002, p. 79). Compensation packages in all the chain commands help employees to keep going despite low and poor economies. This helps them to experiencing affordable privileges like daycare, counseling, and insurance. When the workload for each employee is increasing, it is important that the very skilled, experienced, and employees with institutional knowledge are maintained so that the business can continue running smoothly. In achieving this, voluntary benefits can work miracles.

As mentioned earlier, it is impossible for two different companies to offer similar reward systems and motivation to their employees. White and Druker (2000) argue that because of the changing market trends, employees and employers in times find it a bit difficult to keep going. Because of this, some companies put more emphasis on insurance benefits although others prefer pension programs. Some establishments believe that providing counseling programs can help the employees in staying healthy, and being more productive at their place of work. The latest form of incentive is pet insurance. Different companies offer different combinations of benefits. Despite this, there is a standard set of benefits and compensations, which the majority of companies offer. These benefits include sick leave, extended vacation, elder and childcare, retirement, counseling, insurance, personal financial planning, unpaid, and paid leave.

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However, it is worth noting that not all reward systems and motivations employ tangible assets. The fundamental basics of each business should reflect the relationship between the employee and employer. These have to go hand-in-hand so as to maintain and establish the foundation of a company. If there are disagreements between the employee and employer, the business is at stake of suffering the consequences (Elliot, Dweck, 2005, p. 213). Employers with insight understand the significance of positive and strong relationships between the manager and employees and take measures to ensure continued beneficial alliance. Additionally, much emphasis is put on effective communication, which is essential in today's business. Absence of intrinsic motivation leads to little or no cohesion between the management, employees, and objectives that they are aiming to achieve. To achieve communication within an organization, it is necessary that managers shake their authoritative egos and create an atmosphere where teamwork, encouragement, and openness are cultivated. If a company respects employees, performance acknowledgement exists, and if they are made to believe that they are important in achieving the company's goal, they are likely to do their expected role behaviors. Mistreating and ignoring employees can lead to the failure of the company.

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In places of work, employee motivation is a very challenging issue. To be specific, in work environments in which employee satisfaction is not supported, embraced, and is the last priority of supervisors and managers, a member of the staff will surely face a very hard time. Managers need to understand that there is need for a work environment, which supports their efforts in helping employees opt for motivated behaviors at the place of work (Ingvar, 1998). Workplaces, which are supportive, face daily challenges in keeping employees motivated. Despite the challenges involved, it is vital that managers encourage their employees to ensure maximum contribution from them.

The management can resolve to take actions that motivate the employees daily. In such areas, management actions help in achieving an environment that is conducive for employee motivation (Robbins, Decenzo, Coulter, 2010, p. 122-124). To realize employee motivation, the areas to consider first are pay and compensation, safety in the work environment, job security, retirement, and health care benefits. A supervisor or manager can create a working environment to influence and foster employee motivation. There should be effective and responsible communication of the information required by the employees so that they can carry out their jobs effectively. It is essential to organize employees in groups whereby they are made aware of all the happenings at their workplaces, and this should be as soon as the information leaks out. They need enough information to perform their activities successfully and be able to make sound decisions.

Fostering employee motivation means that supervisors or managers need to meet with the employees after management staff meetings to update them on the company's information that can affect their work. Managers should communicate more information than they think is necessary on issues like important dates, product improvement, customer feedback, new interaction structures and departmental reporting updates and opportunities for training, which is significant to employees. Managers should visit the work place of employees affected by change in order to air any issue regarding the change. They should ensure that an employee clearly comprehends what the change means for time allocation, goals, job, and decisions. Supervisors need to communicate clearly and pleasantly to everyone who reports to them. Holding a one-on-one meeting weekly with the employees is very important. Furthermore, the manager should make them look forward to such meetings where they can request for support, ask questions, and brainstorm (Jensen, Mcmullen, Stark, 2007, p. 365).

Employees view communication, attention, and interaction with their seniors as forms of motivation. Therefore, it is important that supervisors and managers go ahead and interact freely, frequently, and honestly with their employees. All departments meeting should be held regularly with managers demonstrating their interest in the kind of work they do by regularly visiting the various working areas. Everybody should be made equals so as to make them more inclined to share their ideas openly, and even disclose the failures if any. If there is a problem and openness has never been embraced in a company, employees will be afraid to discuss the problem until it has messed up the company. The manager should frequently congratulate employees because of new events and occurrences, like new babies, successful company, and personal events. Moreover, it is advisable to discuss vacation trips with the employees.

The members of the staff should be offered with opportunities where they can develop their abilities and skills because employees always have the desire to advance their skills and knowledge. In conjunction to this, employees should frequently attend crucial meetings, gatherings attended by supervisors, and cross departmental assemblies. The manager should also ensure that the employees have personal development goals, which he or she would wish to accomplish. Managers should also be engaged in unusual and interesting activities, meetings, and events. Managers can also break the monotony by reassigning responsibilities that are disliked by workers or those regarded as routine (Lawler III, Worley, 2006, pp. 97-99). With reassignments of work, contract employees, newer staff and interns may find these tasks rewarding and challenging. Better still, all employees can have their turn to do the task. Opportunities should be available for workers can cross-train in responsibilities and roles done by others.

Managers need to understand the demanding and chaotic nature of business environment where commercial success is highly dependent on employees who make full use of their potential. Motivation is often seen as a mystery by managers irrespective of the available practices and theories. This is partly because those individuals are usually motivated in different manners and by different things. The morale of the staff can be lowered while and insecurity increased if there is flattening and delayering of hierarchies within an organization. Additionally, many workers compared before are working on limited-term contracts and on part-time, and it is usually very difficult to motivate these workers.

After discussing some of the ways in, which managers can motivate the workers, it is also worth noting that employees do not work for free. It is well understood that the majority of businesses are not places where people can offer voluntary services, and so people have their efforts and time compensated for. What is called reward today was first called pay and then remuneration. This refers to psychological, non-monetary as well as monetary payments given to employees by an organization. Just like ways of motivating employees vary in an organization, rewards systems also vary greatly, as mentioned earlier. Most supervisors have a belief that people work for money, which is not the case. Two types of rewards are recognized (Mullen, 1993, p. 78).

Extrinsic rewards are a term in management covering income basic needs for survival (bills payment), a feeling of consistency and stability (security of the job), and the recognition of the employees' skills, and the values at the workplace. In reference to Maslow's hierarchy of needs, extrinsic rewards are found at the lower end and could be referred to as financial rewards. On the other hand, intrinsic rewards place focus on job satisfaction as the most important which is fillowed by enjoyment. Enjoyment is the feeling that one accomplished a given task competently, and being satisfied forms the social interactions which emerge from the place of work (Robbins, Decenzo, Coulter, 2010, p. 172). These are the self-efficacy and on the upper side of the needs hierarchy. In another term, they are referred to as psychological rewards.

Rewards systems aim at achieving three principal goals. These are the maintenance of commitment to the organization, the production of work performance, which is satisfactory, and the attraction of new employees to the company. The intention of reward systems is to retain and attract suitable employees. In the job market, an employer who has a reputation of being cheap is unlikely to be contended for. This is because those employees believe that this employer does reward efforts adequately. A company like this might eventually possess people unwanted in the job market. It is also the role of rewards to improve and maintain performance. Researchers have shown that nobody truly has the ability to motivate because motivation can only emerge from within an individual. The promise of a pay raise or bonus is usually intended to encourage workers and motivate them in order for them to earn rewards. According to Witzel and Mercer (2003, p. 187), pay, which is related to performance is very common in today's organizations. In Canada, for example, it is offered by more than 70 percent of the companies in some way or another.

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Three forms of performance-related pay are used in many companies: organization, team, and individual. The major challenge with individual performance-related pay is that it assumes workers are motivated by pay alone, which is not true. Referring to the psychological or intrinsic rewards mentioned earlier, a person receiving high pay without intrinsic rewards is likely to migrate to where these are available. Finally, a reward system is aimed at strengthening and maintaining psychological contract. This is an indication of what is valued by the company; in other words, what it pays for. For example, if a certain company values teamwork, it is very likely that there will be some form of team bonus. Psychological contracts to some extent determine what is perceived by employees as being fair in the form of rewards for the tasks they have carried out. Disruptive behavior in places of work is always an attempt of restoring fairness to remuneration. More than any other single factor, psychological contract violation causes far more problems with employees.

Employees have to differentiate between direct and indirect pay so that they can effectively motivate their employees (Tropman, 2001, p. 365). Direct pay refers to what is received through the bank accounts like company profit sharing, paid leave, bonuses, merit pay, commission, overtime, and salary/base wage. On the other hand, indirect pay is a term referring to benefit or a portion of the total reward package plus the direct pay. These include health care, pension and retirement plans, company car, life, and health insurance coverage, mobile phone, health club membership, subsidized entertainment and subsidized meals. It is logical to conclude that benefits retain, attract and motivate employees, even though this is supported by little research.

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In North America and Europe, the government strongly influences employee reward. Taxes decrease direct pay amount received by employees. Indirect pay can additionally be taxed. In Finland, for example, benefit taxes, like for the company, is usually very huge such that those who qualify for it opt to refuse. Additionally, the government indirectly influences overpay. Monetary and fiscal policy affects the economy and change incomes received by the employees. Government subsidies on small businesses often lead to the creation of employment, and as unemployment goes down to zero, the labor cost increases given its scarcity. Furthermore, the public sector which employs too many people in the western democracies affect payment trends by exercising tighter controls over the levels of pays (White, Druker, 2000, p. 76). Organizations have to follow the legislations given by the government when paying their employees. Despite that trade unions are not similar to governments, their ties and rules to official legislation at times determine the salary range allowed.

An effective reward system aims at responding to forces in the market. So the questions start to rise "How worthy is an employee to a company?" Psychological and social factors affect reward systems, including the trust, and fairness ideas of an employee. Robbins, Decenzo, and Coulter (2010, p. 98) argue that a system viewed to be fair is one of psychological contract principal components. It should be in compliance with the regulations of the government, the goals of an organization as well as the current business environment, which is very uncertain.

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With the current workplaces, which are rapidly changing, managers should recognize the significance of motivation and reward systems so as to ensure the survival of their organizations. Since the motivation of workers leads to increased productivity, managers should seek to know what motivates their workers within the activities they perform. Employee motivation is one of the most complex areas in an organization because motivating factors constantly change. For example, if an employee has a very high salary, then money ceases to become a motivator. Additionally, as employees get older, they become more motivated more by interesting tasks.



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