Creating Reliable Measurement and Rewards System
In today’s especially difficult economic climate, finding unique, clever ways to motivate employees to prevent turnover can be a challenge.
Instituting a system of rewards is a smart option, as is integrating performance management and performance standards into the strategic planning and each individual job description and employee performance evaluation. Salary is still a prime motivator for most employees, practically speaking. But it is not the sole motivator.
When is a reward warranted? It should not be simply because employees are showing up and doing their jobs. That is why they were hired. At what point does their work go over and above established measures? Document expectations and develop standards for the issuance of rewards.
Typically, accomplishing a project on time, raising productivity, lowering costs, lowering inventory, and using cost saving measures are results that qualify for the receipt of a reward. Guidelines will vary from position to position, department to department, and company to company.
Be clear with employees about the reward system so there are no misunderstandings or failed expectations. Receive buy-in and understanding from those potentially receiving the rewards, as well as those disseminating them.
Thinking creatively and outside the traditional box can help your company develop a system of non-monetary rewards that help motivate employees and thank them for their efforts.
If feasible, time off in the form of an hour, a few hours or an entire day can be issued as rewards. Some other examples are low-cost discounts and tickets to restaurants, parks, museums, and gas cards, or extremely low cost awards certificates for major or minor accomplishments.
Awards, ceremonies, and gatherings where employees are thanked publicly are typical methods of recognition used. Be certain to honor special actions or activities and be specific as to the nature of the recognition, or other employees could feel offended.
Actually disseminating rewards should be based upon merit. Measuring such merit can be done in a number of ways. In manufacturing, engineering and production, results measurements are outcomes of actions; that is, overall production efficiency and reliability are measured against manufacturing costs.
Action measurements include mean distance between failure (MDBF), days worked without injury or safety issues, and other manufacturing standards. Measure what is important to the company.
Connecting similar or dissimilar departments in terms of teamwork can help elevate productivity. Once several work groups realize that the job one does affects the other, or the job that is missed affects the other’s deadline, employees will begin to take more direct ownership of the task at hand and feel more compelled to produce.
Connecting a reward system between or among work groups or teams will allow employees to help management achieve goals. The last thing an employee wants is to be in a failing team that is causing other teams to come down on them. If a reward is linked to project accomplishment directly, a reward system among teams should work.
But, as with any strategy, it must be executed properly, communicated effectively, sustained and operated consistently. With a reward system, employees are more likely to enjoy seeing a project or task reach fruition more so than just for the sake of it.
Ask management how certain rewards have worked for them and their employees. In the best of times, there will always be negative viewpoints and input.
Though the comments might come from a bittersweet relationship with the supervisor or company, it is still important to listen to what employees state. Valuable feedback for future rewards can be obtained by running the rewards system through a quality assurance check, and positive changes can occur even from negative feedback.
Whatever system is employed to measure productivity in selecting rewards, it is important to remember to use the information for future purposes. Setting records and precedents does no company any good if data are not evaluated, researched against industry standards, discussed, and referred to for future planning.