Rewards in Management: Article on ‘the folly of rewarding A, while hoping for B Introduction Motivation and reward systems in organizations have always remained delicate issues as managers wish to improve organizational performance by rewarding behaviors that result into exceptional performance. However, this is not always the case as rewards are sometimes directed in the wrong way and therefore reinforcing the negative behavior that managers intended to stem. The article by Kerr provides a vivid illustration of these scenarios as witnessed in various organization and the major causes behind. The article makes more sense given that most organizations error in their reward systems.
For example, it ironical to reward professors engaging in research than rewarding those that are teaching and going on to give more preference for research based resume. Doing so would only takes more professors from classes to research creating a shortage of lecturers. It’s also ignorant for school management systems to reward only the best performing and ignoring the best improved. Reward systems that ignore workers interests and desires only works to produce negative results. For example, some employees would rather get a monetary reward than recognition or a new position.
Managers also need to look into their reward mechanisms to ensure that all employees stand a good chance of being rewarded. Concentrating on highly visible behaviors could actually demoralize those whose efforts are not highly visible. For example, salespersons efforts are likely to be noted quickly through sales growth while an accountant may take long to be noticed. Conversely, to what the article suggests, there are also cases where rewards work as intended. This depends on the nature of goals set as well as setting good performance indicators. The second part of this paper requires outlining of remedies to ensure rewards result into intended consequences.
Allan and Economy (2010, chap 7) noted that organizations get what they reward. They therefore recommended that managers should recognize and reward their employees and do it frequently. Organizations should also establish appropriate recognition programs. Managers should clearly link rewards to behavior, give rewards sincerely, give the reward in a positive tone and give the rewards shortly after event for a better impact.
Managers should also reward efficiency rather than seek to achieve equity or make moral considerations. When using rewards as motivators companies need to look at output level of employees. If they are performing at optimal or close to optimal rewards may not results to better performance than present. Companies should also ensure that employees embrace and approve the reward system in place and this happens only when they are involved and it’s transparent. They should also be on the look out to tame unhealthy competition which encourages individual output as opposed to team spirit. Rewards can be both manipulative and good for business.
Studies show that when employees know what reward they stand to get for accomplishing a given task, they will shape their behavior accordingly. When rewards don’t measure up to the effort employees put in, then they can be manipulative. Proponents of theory X would actually say that motivation is good as it awakens the potential in employees. When rewards are pegged on organizational goals achieved, they are good for business as both the employees and managers benefit. Work cited Allen, Kathleen and Economy, Peter.
Complete MBA for dummies. 2nd ed. Indianapolis: Wiley Publishing Inc, 2008, print