A few months after I started at UPS in the rating department, they started an incentive program that would be based on your production and percentage to errors. The way the program went was every month they would review employees production rates and the percentage of errors that occurred in the previous month. They would have informal gatherings to acknowledge and present certificates to employees that had satisfactory productions and minor errors. They then would put each persons name into a drawing for $25.00 that could be spent on UPS merchandise. This was one way that UPS tried to motivate employees to do their best at work. In the accounting department managers would have days set aside where they may cook breakfast for the employees as a way to say thank you. They also would have days where they would grill out to provide lunch as well. Many employees appreciated the idea of their managers cooking them breakfast or providing them lunch.
On there other side of that there were some employees who felt that thought of the meals were not good enough. They wanted incentives in the form of a monetary manner. The sharing of a company’s profits gives incentive to employees to produce a quality product, perform a quality service, or improve the quality of a process within the company. (Cuthie, n.d.) The insurance company that my husband worked for would give out awards quarterly called Star awards. These awards recognized employees that submitted innovative ideas and employees that exemplified extraordinary work ethic and production. The employees where given a certificate and a monetary bonus ranging from $250 to $1000 based on what they brought to the table.
In the instance of the monthly acknowledgment of employees hitting the mark, this was a very effective way to motivate employees. It ushered in a friendly competition that encouraged peers to do there best. The quarterly meals by management went over well because everyone was able to participate in this incentive and no one felt left out. As far as the monetary incentive it was a motivator, but the rewards over the year seemed to come less than when my husband started over three years. Managers who recognize the “small wins” of employees, promote participatory environments, and treat employees with fairness and respect will find their employees to be more highly motivated. (Cuthie, n.d.) When everyone has a chance to be recognized for their production and quality of service ushers in a greater sense of moral and ownership.
Human Resources and management should work together to properly align organizational objectives to individual expectations. Considerations include providing opportunities for rewarding performance, making sure incentives match external and internal markets, and making considerations based on individual needs (Cascio, n.d.). Employees want to feel that they are adequately compensated for their contributions, and some employees are motivated by non-financial rewards. Considering financial and non-financial rewards, I find that some employees prefer public acknowledgement of accomplishments, opportunities to participate in or lead new projects, or more flexibility to be just as satisfying, if not more satisfying, than the financial incentives. Managers must understand what motivates each of their team members and develop plans based on each employee’s individual preference. Regarding financial rewards, one of the compensation strategies that is utilized to motivate employees and improve productivity is profit/gain sharing. In the company I work for, we aim to hit three goals: achieve predetermined cost saving target, health screening target, and patient satisfaction target. The logic behind the cost savings strategy addresses the need for the organization to be considerate of costs and behaviors that contribute to cost increases. This goal motivates employees to think creatively about how they can contribute to the bottom line and work more efficiently. The health screening initiative includes an annual health assessment which also has includes receiving a flu shot. This goal addresses the overall well-being of the work force while impacts insurance expense to the organization while also reducing the number of PTO calls that result as the workforce enters flu season. Patient satisfaction scores motivate all employees, regardless of position, to engage with patients and to work to create an overall optimal experience whether it is translated to the level of care, the cleanliness of room, or the quality of food some patient eats. This compensation strategy motivates employees to participate, especially the goal related to health screening. Not only is compensation linked to this objection, benefits are as well. If employees do not participate in the health screening, their health insurance costs increase by $50 per month. Our organization has met the goal and received the profit/gain sharing incentive consistently throughout the past five years.