Office Unit 10: Earnings and Rewards

Listen to the recording as you read the text. Then complete the activities.

Managers are often faced with a dilemma when it comes to keeping staff motivated. Employees often have to work more than their contract states and they are often not being paid for their overtime. This problem can have a negative effect on a company as demotivated staff may end up looking for alternative employment.

There are many methods of motivating staff but the most effective is to financially reward the staff for their hard work. However, this is not as easy as it may seem as it must be done in a fair way so that all staff stay motivated. The majority of larger companies use incentive schemes which means that all staff are aware of what the have to do to gain the benefits. These schemes will often vary between departments as a certain type of incentive will work better in one area than in another.

A good example of this is the sales department, where the goal of the incentive is to motivate sales staff to sell as much as possible. Here, commission is the best motivator as the staff know that the more they sell, the higher their reward will be. It is also possible to use other incentives though by setting a sales target, at which bonuses are payable. The problem with this method is that the staff will only be motivated until the point when they have achieved their bonus.

In other departments bonuses are the best option but to work well they should only be a part of the incentive scheme, which may also include other perks such as a company telephone, child care or social activities and of course a private pension.

While all of these incentives are valuable, they cannot replace a fair salary. If you have someone employed on minimum wage, no amount of social activities will motivate them to be the best they can be.

Of course during difficult economic times these financial methods of motivation may not always be viable so as well as financial motivation, it is vital that hard work is recognized by management and praise given to the employee. It may seem like a small thing but employees who feel appreciated at work are much more likely to stay loyal and do their best for the company. This should be an ongoing approach but it is especially important during staff appraisals so that the member of staff knows that his or her work is important to the company.

The staff appraisal is the perfect opportunity to demonstrate to the employee that management realize that they deserve more than they are currently getting and that their planned increment should be increased. Likewise, if an employee is not meeting expectations, the appraisal is a chance for them to be informed of what they are doing wrong and the reasons for any pay cut that they may receive.

Providing such incentives are available for your staff, they will be less likely to seek employment elsewhere which means your team will be more stable and you will not need to invest in training on such a regular basis.

Strangely, these incentives can even work if you have had to dismiss employees. By offering attractive severance packages the employee in question will leave the company with a higher opinion of it and as such will be less likely to bad-mouth it to their friends and future co-workers.

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