Does Profit Sharing Increase Productivity  Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

profit sharing. The writer examines the history of the concept and whether or not profit sharing improves productivity. There were 10 sources used to complete this paper.

The economic slump in America the last few years has been counter productive for employee morale. The workers who have faced lay offs, pay reductions and removal of overtime are having a hard time finding a reason to work hard and stay focused on productivity. When the slump is over, and the economy picks up as it historically does, there will be more jobs than workers and this will present a whole new problem with productivity. Regardless of the circumstances businesses nation wide are looking for ways to increase the productivity that is being put out by their employees. One of the methods being used to do this is profit sharing. Profit sharing is something that companies offer across the nation. The way each program is set up may vary but the concept is still the same. If the company makes more the employees make more, therefore it behooves the employees to crank up the productivity and the quality of the product or service they represent. The success of profit sharing has been questioned for years. Business owners wonder if it is really worth their while to give up some of the profits in the hopes it will make the workers feel they have a stake in the company's outcome. Profit sharing is a plan that can backfire by costing the business money with no return, or it can be the prod that spurs the employees to increase profits by increasing productivity. It is a program in which it either helps or it hurts with no in between.



The businesses who are participating in profit sharing need to know if they are wasting their time and their money, while the businesses that are not offering a profit sharing program need to know if it is a program that they might benefit from. These are the two top reasons for studying the success rate of profit sharing programs in various types of businesses. The problem is that there are outside variables contributing to the differences that are being seen in bottom lines both with and without the profit sharing plans. The profit sharing plan that is being used may or may not contribute to the increase in productivity. Conversely the slow down in productivity or bottom line numbers may not be because of a lack of profit sharing. This project is going to determine whether profit sharing is successful in the endeavor to increase productivity at a business.

Profit sharing programs are popular because they offer more flexibility than many pension plans and they offer the chance to have a better return depending on the company profits that period.


The economy in America is a violate thing. Sometimes it is up and flying while other times it is down in the dumps. It can change in a matter of months and the experts often have a difficult time determining what caused the changes and what might happen in the future.

Because profit sharing costs money it is important for businesses to know if it is worth the time and money to implement a profit sharing program. A study to determine if profit sharing is effective will allow businesses to decide whether or not they want to offer one to their employees. Because the economy is dependent on so many variables employers are having a difficult time proving or disproving the value of profit sharing plans. The state of the economy always has an effect on whether or not a profit sharing program is a good idea. When the economy is going great it is important to know if a profit sharing program will improve the quality and retention of employees to the business. If the economy is in a slump employers need to know if a profit sharing program will work to encourage and motivate employees out of the slump and move toward higher goals. Regardless of the economic situation in the states it is going to affect the motivation and productivity of the employees. The problem becomes whether or not a profit sharing program can assist or if it is a waste of the company money.

In addition to the problem there is a sub-problem as well. The profit sharing program needs to be designed to promote the maximum success with the least amount of financial burden to the company. The final problem is the question of when a program should be offered. New employees tend to be eager to get ahead and prove their worth but without the longevity of long time employees they have a higher risk of leaving the company. The older and more stable employees may not be as eager and productive but they are not leaving. Companies who decide to create profit sharing programs need to know which employees they should be offered to and what the criteria should be.


The hypothesis for this project is that profit sharing programs are effective tools for the increase of employee productivity and that offering them to all employees with a graduated profit percentage dependant on longevity with the company helps increase company loyalty.


Profit sharing: A program when a company provides the profits for the sharing of the workers.

Population: This is the large group from which the sample was drawn for the study

Sample: This is the smaller group that is drawn from the large population as participants.

Literature review: This is a discussion about studies that have already been completed in related areas and what they have concluded.

Variables: These are the controls that are implemented on the project

Data: This is the study information provided by the participants that will be compiled and studied for the purpose obtaining a study result.

Survey: The method of collection for the purpose of this study



There have been many articles and studies published regarding different aspects of profit sharing programs. Because of their popularity and their various elements there are many things that can be studied in their existence. They have been offered in good financial times and in bad financial times and they are believed to cause employees to increase their quality of work and their productivity by many experts who recommend their offering.

The plans differ in many ways including how they are offered. In some cases they are offered in place of pension plans and in other cases they are offered along with pension plans.

Profit-sharing plans have long been popular because they offer more flexibility than pension plans and are exceedingly less expensive to administer. However, a new variation of the traditional profit- sharing plan is the age-weighted profit-sharing plan, which allows the use of age as a major factor in calculating contribution allocations. The traditional profit-sharing plan normally allocated contributions on the basis of salary. Since older key employees and owners have less time to accumulate retirement savings, the age-weighted plan takes age and salary into consideration when allocating contributions among all participants. This allows a larger percentage to be provided to the older employees, but within a framework that furnishes all participants with relatively equal benefits."

There are many different ways that a profit sharing plan can be structured for the purpose of increasing productivity. The motivation for the older employees is often gone. They have been working for a lot of years, they have often managed to pay off their homes and their other large debts which leaves them with a relatively simple and inexpensive cost per month to pay bills. It is a problem because as they near the age of retirement they might not be as motivated as they once were. They have often climbed the career ladder whether it was in management or on the line and they do not have much hope of getting to the top if they have not already gotten there. One study looked at the possibilities that re produced with age weighted profit sharing programs. This allows the older employee to gain benefits even with the short time they still have left in the workforce. "An age-weighted plan is similar to a traditional profit-sharing plan in the following ways. Contributions are tax deductible up to 15% of net compensation of the participants covered by the plan. Annual contributions are discretionary, and employers can even skip a contribution. The same participants are covered under both types of plans, and participant direction of investments is available. Top-heavy rules and Section 415 contribution limits apply. Vesting and most other plan provisions can be the same as they would be with a simple profit-sharing plan."

Another study worked to answer the question about the usefulness of profit sharing programs in the workplace. Using the department of human resources to address the question, profit sharing programs were examined and analyzed…

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