NONMONETARY REWARDS FOR EMPLOYEE PERFORMANCE
Many employees and managers assume that the only incentive that can motivate their employees and encourage performance is cash or money. All employees like a raise in their salary, and it can act as a reward for hard work, but there are other ways that they can be rewarded. According to (Lazaroiu, 2015), money alone is not enough to motivate employees to perform their best. In addition, for small businesses without the monetary resources to use as rewards for their employees, there are other ways in which they can say thank you to the employees.
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One of the ways in which employers can reward their employees is through recognition. This is one of the essential factors to making employees feel appreciated and valued. Recognition can be through praise and feedback at the workplace. Kumar et al., (2015) asserts that employees who are recognized for their work at the office will work longer and harder because they are encouraged by the feedback they get from their supervisors. Lazaroiu (2015) adds that people want to be recognized for their work through acknowledgments, feedback, and praise. Managers are encouraged to praise the employees who perform well or giving handwritten notes to these employees. This also encourages others to work harder to impress their supervisors.
Another way of rewarding employees is through the provision of flexible schedules (Lazear, 2018). This is a way of promoting a work-life balance for your employees and motivating them to work harder. Many small companies have adopted the work from home option due to the advancement in technology. It is an encouraging reward when employees have a schedule that does not tie them down in one location all the time. Such a schedule will help employees rewind as well as catch up with other activities while still being productive and working towards achieving the set goals.
According to Fanning (2018), a Stanford research showed that employees who work from home are 17% more productive than their counterparts in an office are. Additionally, employees can be allowed to leave early or report late on certain days of the week or month as a token of appreciation for their hard work. An organization should also have measures in place to allow employees to step out of the office in cases of emergency without having to follow long processes that can be draining and stressful.
For example, this has served as a reward in my line of work for many of my colleagues as our place of work is very flexible. At one time, one of the ladies in IT was summoned to her daughter’s school due to an emergency. According to the school secretary, the child had a high fever due to tonsils and needed to be taken to the hospital. The HR manager immediately allowed her to leave work to take care of her daughter, without asking for proof that her daughter was indeed sick. When she came back the following day, she made sure to handle all her work from the previous day, even though her team members had helped with some tasks, as well as work extra hard ensuring everything was in order. According to her, she felt valued and indebted to the organization and wanted to make sure she was helpful.
Providing responsibility and opportunity to employees is also another way of rewarding them. In most cases, high performing employees are given the opportunity to prepare powerpoint presentations to be used in meetings and to make these presentations. This responsibility allows the employees to learn as well as to grow. Other companies allow their employees to represent the company in seminars and conferences that offer them professional development. This type of reward allows employees to step outside of their normal work and learn something new (Kumar et al., 2015). It also allows them to interact with others in the same field and grow in their area of expertise. No amount of money can provide employees with the kind of experiences they can get in these professional conferences. An organization that can use this reward system creates unique opportunities and responsibilities for employees, forming an opportunity for appreciation and professional development.
Organizations should also strive to help employees have fun at the workplace. When the workplace is not fun most employees will drag themselves in early and leave as soon as the clock strikes 5 on the dot. Fun can be achieved by creating a culture and environment that encourages employees to communicate with one another and work together (Lazear, 2018). When employees are divided into teams, they interact easily compared to when all their duties are individual. The more the employees have an emotional connection with one another, the more likely they are to help one another to achieve the rewards of their accomplishments. In addition, the organization can plan for team building activities outside the office where employees can have fun and play games. Such a reward will help them know each other and be comfortable when working together, which can reflect positively on the effectiveness of the company.
Many people want to grow and learn something new. Very few employees want to spend ten years in the same position in the company or doing the same thing each day. According to Lazaroiu (2015), employees want to push themselves and test how far they can go by continuously testing their limits. As such, organizations should give their employees opportunities to grow as a reward for their work. This can be achieved through the provision of personal and professional training programs. Employees hold employers highly when they show an interest in their growth because they feel valued (Kumar et al., 2015). The resources used in these training will not be wasted as the employees with such training give better results. Employees who are not mentally stimulated might get bored and opt to find opportunities in another organization. They should, therefore, be given opportunities to learn and challenge themselves.
There is no challenging the fact that money is a good motivator and reward system. However, there are other non-monetary incentives that organizations and employees can use to reward employees for their hard work and empower for future projects. These include flexible working hours, learning opportunities, recognition, fun work environment, and responsibility and opportunity. Creating a work environment that is fun and inviting goes a long way in motivating employees. This is achieved by organizations encouraging employees to work together and to get to know one another. Organizations, therefore, need to look into nonmonetary incentives for their employees that will make them feel involved in the operations of the organizations as well as pushes them to learn and go beyond their expectations. Through such reward mechanisms, the employees will grow and also strive to give their best to the organization, which will reflect on their productivity.
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Fanning, B. (2018). Stanford Research Shows Working From Home Cuts Turnover by Half and Drives Productivity. Retrieved from: https://www.inc.com/ben-fanning/stanford-research-shows-working-from-home-cuts-tur.html
Kumar, D., Hossain, M. Z., & Nasrin, M. S. (2015). Impact of Non-Financial Rewards on Employee Motivation. Asian Accounting & Auditing Advancement.
Lazaroiu, G. (2015). Employee motivation and job performance. Linguistic and Philosophical Investigations, 14, 97.
Lazear, E. P. (2018). Compensation and Incentives in the Workplace. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 32(3), 195-214.