Non-Monetary Reward and Recognition and Team-Based Incentives Term Paper

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Non-Monetary Reward and Recognition and Team-Based Incentives

A performance-based non-monetary reward system requires planning and a well thought out infrastructure in order to succeed. Thus supervisors and HR administrators must work together to develop a set of criteria for implementing a rewards-based system that is based on several factors other than financial incentives. A non-monetary rewards-based system has to take into consideration several factors that a monetary rewards system does not. Of primary importance among these factors is employee motivation. Time and time again studies suggest that employees that are motivated are those that are regularly acknowledged on the job for contributions they make to the organization. Thus this performance-based reward and recognition system will focus on acknowledging employee accomplishments at several different levels.

A performance-based system has the potential to improve overall employee effectiveness and productivity when utilized correctly. Measurement of employee effectiveness must rely on "evaluation criteria that demonstrates attainment of organizational and individual objectives" during the course of the year (Donahue, Ingraham & Selden, 2000). Thus at the start of each year employees should be required to meet with their immediate supervisor and develop several short-term, mid term and long-term goals related to individual and organizational performance objectives. Their performance must subsequently be monitored throughout the year to determine what level of achievement an individual employee has made with regard to their objectives.

Those employees that are making significant gains will be rewarded accordingly. Thus employee goal establishment provides a framework for evaluating and criteria for establishing which employees are performing average and at above average levels.

A well developed system will be equated with exceptional performance. Fundamental to the success of a non-monetary system is effective management to organizational performance, and the ability to retain human skills and talent (Donahue, Ingraham & Selden, 2000). This system will measure specific attainment of goals in order to determine exceptional performance.

Effective employee motivation is the ability to encourage employees to perform effectively while supporting the organization's goals, and rests on the utilization of solid non-monetary rewards and incentives, including an effective performance appraisal system and mechanisms "that facilitate employee feedback" (Donahue, Ingraham & Selden, 2000: 381). The performance appraisal system recommended above will ensure that effective feedback is provided employees during the course of the year. Effective feedback is in and of itself an efficient motivator and form of non-monetary reward.

Studies suggest that employees that receive feedback regularly are more likely to remain on the job and report higher job satisfaction than employees who are not evaluated on a consistent basis (Donahue, Ingraham & Selden, 2000). Thus consistent feedback is an essential element of this non-monetary rewards and recognition system.

Employees will also be encouraged to develop a minimum of two team oriented goals during the course of the year which will be subject to the reward and recognition program. Team goals will be evaluated based on inter-group collaboration and concerted efforts on the part of all team members to facilitate organizational productivity and encourage success of their team members. Each employee will be assigned to at minimum of one collaborative team, and have the opportunity to provide feedback on other team member's performance during the annual performance review process. The team that accomplishes the highest level of achievement during the year may be recognized with a commemorative plaque.

Non-monetary motivators that have proven to have a positive impact on employee performance in the past include: job flexibility, alternative scheduling, performance recognition programs, employee of the month programs, commendation plaques and other rewards, additional vacation days (Donahue, Ingraham & Selden, 2000; Madhok & Tallman, 1998). A firm that does not integrate a variety of rewards systems when integrating non-monetary rewards risks lost of valuable employees that feel underappreciated and unrecognized (Pennings, Lee & Van Witteloostujin, 1998).

Thus this reward and recognition program will integrate a variety of methods for improving performance. Employees will be afforded the opportunity to be nominated by peers and/or a supervisor for employee of the month. Employees selected will receive a commemorative plaque and be afforded additional parking privileges during the year. In addition, flexible scheduling will be available for employees that achieve their individual objectives throughout the course of the year. For employee that provide exceptional contributions to the organization that go above and beyond the typical course of duty, additional vacation days may be allotted as a method of reward and recognition.

Firms need to devote their time to developing relationships among individual employees and learn to understand individual motivations in order to increase their competitive advantage; they should also work toward developing the "learning capacities" of all staff members as a non-monetary theme and as a method for improving overall efficiency (Mcwilliams, Fleet, & Wright, 2001). Superior educational and training programs can help employees remain motivated, feel recognized for their contribution and also enable workers to adapt more easily to changing environments and new technologies in a globally competitive workforce (Mcwilliams, Fleet & Wright, 2001).

Training has also been recognized as an effective method of motivating employees and improving an employee's desire to engage in activities that are beneficial to the organization as a whole (Bozeman, Carlson, Kacmar, Mcmahan & Wright, 2000). Thus the non-monetary reward and recognition system will enable employees to participate in on site and off site training programs on a consistent basis in order to encourage superior knowledge acquisition and foster professional development and growth. The organization will also endeavor to establish a cross training program that will enable employees to 'try out' other jobs in the firm and gain a broader understanding of organizational functions and practices.

By encouraging employees to develop their skills and promoting a culture that is supportive of professional development, employees are rewarded in many ways. Employees are more likely to feel that the firm is committed to their overall achievement and success and less likely to seek out additional job opportunities elsewhere. Studies confirm that employees that are regularly afforded or rewarded with educational or training opportunities are far more motivated and productive than those that are not (Mcwilliams, Fleet & Wright, 2001).

Training programs can result in heavy expenditures, thus to reduce the financial burden and to keep with the idea of a non-monetary rewards-based system, internal resources will be utilized as much as possible to facilitate on site learning and professional achievement. A mentoring program will be established that will enable employees desiring professional growth opportunities to work one on one with top level corporate managers and other representatives working in various departments in order to assure that employees are afforded the opportunity to develop and enhance their job skills.

As another method of recognition, employees that have been on the job for 2, 5 and 10 years will be recognized with commemorative pens and plaques. There is adequate information to suggest that recognition of employee loyalty is also a strong motivator, and that employees that are recognized for significant length of service are also more likely to remain motivated and committed to improving the overall productivity and efficiency of the organization (Allen & Helms, 2002).

Employees will also be afforded the opportunity to nominate peers for recognition, via varying suggestion boxes located throughout the corporation. An organizational culture that supports peer acknowledgement and collaborative relationships is more likely to realize competitive success than one that does not (Washington, 1996).

A non-monetary program will incorporate a feature allowing managers to recognize employees on a daily basis for work that exceeds expectations. Employees that perform consistently on an outstanding basis typically do so because their performance is highlighted in some way, whether through a complement, plaque or other non-monetary method of reward and recognition (Washington, 1996). A simple comment related to an individual employee's performance on a daily basis may suffice in certain situations. Recognition of key employees during weekly or monthly staff meetings is also highly encouraged as a method of rewarding and recognizing employees.

The effectiveness of reward practices relies entirely upon the ability of a firm to recognize the culture that is present within an organization. An organization that utilizes reward practices that "logically complement" the employee culture is more likely to motivate employees and help the organization perform at the highest possible level (Allen & Helms, 2002). Thus for this program to be effective top level management must make a firm commitment to understanding the underlying culture that motivates employees on the force. The culture will be accepted and acknowledged and incorporated into any future reward and recognition practices the organization develops.

A substantial body of evidence suggest that human resources practices should design a reward system that is aligned to motivate employee performance but that is also consistent with the firm's strategy, one that is designed to attract and retain employees that have solid skills and abilities in order to realize goals, and one that is supportive or organizational culture (Allen & Helms, 2002).

The organizational strategy should not rely on the old model of compensation only as a means of rewards, but rather…

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