<i>Dear Workforce</i> Use Bonuses To Reward People

December 11, 2003
Dear Debating:

Performance management and bonus systems are not the same. You and your boss are looking for motivation mechanisms that reward people for results, such as project profitability or on-time completion. You also want to recognize employees whose contributions and capabilities exceed expectations (or terminate contractors who fall short of requirements).
You may consider a combination of monetary rewards and intangible recognition. Money is a great way to attract and is often an important consideration when people are choosing between employment options. However, intangible rewards and recognition are much more powerful motivators than money. A recent nationwide survey indicated that employees--by a more than three to one margin--would rather feel proud of their work than receive a higher salary.
The survey, sponsored by Katzenbach Partners LLC, found slightly more than half of employees strongly agreed or mostly agreed with the following statement: "feeling proud of your work is more important to you than getting a raise." Only 15 percent disagreed with the statement. In addition, 60 percent of the participants indicated they found their daily work to be meaningful, and 48 percent believe they have an excellent opportunity to grow and develop their skills at work.
If your boss is trying to use compensation and bonuses for motivation, he may therefore consider options that go far beyond money. They should include building pride in your work and giving you opportunities to learn new capabilities.
SOURCE: August Vlak, a principal at Katzenbach Partners LLC, New York, N.Y., Jan. 20, 2003.
LEARN MORE: ReadOrlando's Performance Appraisal and Merit Increase Program.
The information contained in this article is intended to provide useful information on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Also remember that state laws may differ from the federal law.
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