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Employee motivation rewards from salary to gratuitous

Employee motivation, Rewards for employees, Tips and gratuitous to employees, techniques for employee motivation

Whether in public or private sector all employees have one thing in common: they want their efforts to be recognized and possibly rewarded. This actuality compels employers to tailor special programs in order to reward and encourage their employees to perform even better. Every individual has a great potential to offer excellent output at his or her working place. However, the working environment and the motivational factors determine whether an employee becomes an asset or a liability to the organization he or she works for. There are numerous tools and techniques utilized in the business arena for the purposes of creating employee satisfaction and to trigger the required positive reaction. Normally organizations deliberately set programs to routinely award and recognize the efforts exerted by employees in order to enhance new differentiated behavior to ultimately benefit the organizations.

Employee motivation has become a critical issue for most public administration managers whose foremost function is to achieve high level employee performance and productivity. It’s pertinent that public administration entities employ the most effective motivational techniques while considering that different motivational techniques work for different employees. Thus this paper will attempt to analyze the sufficiency of financial based rewards such as bonuses, commissions as well as job promotions to motivate public administration employees. Besides, the paper will evaluate how ethics influence the application of financial rewards in public administration entities as opposed to private companies, how the role of organized labor influence employees compensation and benefits in the public sector and an overview of how existing reward systems in Administration and in this paper referencing U.S Government (including Canada & Australia) public administration effectively reinforces an attitude of nonchalance.

Just like other employees, public administration employees are motivated by both intrinsic and extrinsic rewards. Therefore, for any reward system to be effective it must incorporate both sources of motivation especially given that all reward systems are designed to attract, retain and motivate workers.

1-Cash Incentives
Garnered research has pithily established that employees become more productive when they are motivated. Dealing with human resource is a fiddly issue, this is because different people have different needs hence satisfying the needs of each personnel becomes a challenging experience. Of course, employees work to earn wages at the end of the month, in essence employees assert their efforts in order to reap the reward benefits attached to their work. As to whether cash is a motivator enough, that remains an issue of contention.
There are innumerable advantages of utilizing cash as a motivational tool at work place to begin with the general implication that everybody likes money and money is an easily accepted token. Cash generates immediate gratifying impact on employees and this helps the organization to improve individual performance of employees moreover, the management bolsters its administrative efficiency out of motivation. Financially based employee rewards include:- bonuses, commissions, job promotion, tips and gratuities.
2-Other Financial Rewards
Financial-based rewards such as bonuses, commissions as well as Job promotions form a significant component of the reward system, although there are other factors including tips and gratuities that motivate employees and influence their overall level of performance.

In fact according to numerous studies conducted among public employees, the results indicated that among those surveyed, financial rewards was not the most motivating factor (Perry et al, 2006). The study also established that among public administration managers, financial results have a de-motivating effect among employees (Srivastava, 2001).

Public administration entities are emphasizing on quality improvement teams and commitment building programs as opposed to financial incentives. A research conducted by the University of Texas in 2005 established that financial incentives (bonuses and commissions) make up less than 5% of the U.S public administration employees’ compensation (Stajkovic, 2003).

The U.S private sector on the contrary is encouraging financial incentives through implementation of pay-for-performance plans that encourage alternative reward systems. Therefore unlike public sector organizations, private sector organizations are increasingly adopting alternative reward systems in order to boost their competitiveness both locally and internationally. As a result, private companies are emphasizing on the need for cost cutting, corporate restructuring while at the same time boosting employee performance.

Public organizations aren’t as profit driven as private enterprises, and therefore prefer using bonuses as their key financial-based reward technique as opposed to commissions. On the contrary, private entities emphasize on pay-for-performance reward system.

Nonetheless, regardless of the reward system selected by either public or private organizations the selected system must incorporate both financial-based and other alternative reward systems for it to be effective.

A - Job Promotions
In the public entities workers get promotion in order to be motivated to work, promotion in essence conveys the message that the efforts and the contribution of an employee are being recognized and are being awarded. With promotion comes a new job title, salary increment and privileges at work place. Mostly, job promotion is geared towards making employees work hard, retaining valuable employees at the same time, filling higher level positions (James JM, Bolstein R.,2004).

In addition to giving workers financial rewards, promotions afford them the opportunity to acquire new skills or additional training that may ultimately result in permanent earnings differences (Gunn WJ, Rhodes IN., 1991) in cases where good employees are not recognized and awarded promotion there arises cases of poaching by the private sector or other international entities who offer them better salaries and incentives.
It is therefore very important that the best employees are promoted and given incentives in the public sector to avoid their migration in pursuit of better working places.

Employees in both public and private entities can be motivated through job promotions and lateral moves. Job promotions represent long term rewards that duly recognize employees’ professional growth, expertise, and capacity to take up new roles. Job promotions are usually tied to salary increases, whereby the increase must be within a 5% range of the worker’s current salary while those earning less than $25,000 base salary can receive an increment of up to $1,250 (Clemmer, 2004). Furthermore, the new salary increment must fall within the approved salary range for the position. Moreover, employees must complete a 90-day probationary period following the promotion.

Supervisors perform pertinent functions of developing and motivating their employees.
The greatest challenge faced by public administration managers is the lack of flexibility in the public administration to reward employee performance using financial-based rewards. This is particularly because public institutions often operate on tight budgetary allocations and lack proper financial-based reward structures. Thus, bonuses and commissions are used by private entities to reward employees with exemplary performance. In addition, job promotions are used to reward employees who due to their professional excellence, contribute immensely to the organizational development. On the contrary, public officers find it difficult to use job promotions to reward workers due to bureaucracy and cronyism that is inherent in public organizations. Additionally, managers and supervisors in public administration positions find it difficult to financially reward best performers due to public ethics Act and other existing legislations whose provisions restrict financial rewards. It has therefore become common practice for public administration supervisors to use other alternative reward systems rather than financial-based reward systems.

B- Tips and Gratuities
These can be defined as small 'gratuitous' payments made by customers to employees for providing them with an excellent level of service. The customers offer these kind of payments out of gratitude as a way of saying that the service offered was up to the expected customer standard.
Tips and gratuities apply in sectors like hotel business, restaurants and pubs, taxi drivers and even in services sectors like in the hair dressing business. In some cases tips are normally pooled together and get distributed evenly to all the employees at the end of the payment period.
Tips motivate employees to offer distinguished services to the customers as they anticipate to get on the spot rewards, in some cases though employers discourage their employees from receiving tips since they believe that the customers deserve excellent services and they don’t have to pay extra to earn that.
In some countries and precisely in some US states like Texas employees are prohibited from soliciting or accepting any gift that reasonably tends to influence or reward official conduct.
In some parts of the countries like in Canada, Province of Québec, it is mandatory in some restaurants to include gratuitous as percentage of the whole meal to which no customer is exempted.

Ethics and Cash Rewards
In public sector rewards are applied to compensate employees for their excellent contribution to the organizational growth. It however must be noted that, unlike the private sector where the process of rewarding employees is unregulated, the public sector is controlled by the act of federal state. Employees get rewards in terms of bonuses, commissions and job promotions. The entities provide a guideline on what rewards employees should get and the acceptable credentials for such rewards to be accorded. The public sector is supposed to serve the customers in such a way that it maintains and enhances public confidence in the integrity of the Public Service (Hopkins KD, Gullickson AR,2003). Thus there are some limits as to what kind of rewards employees are accorded.
The general rule provides that employees may not solicit or accept gifts that are from a prohibited source unless an exception applies (Goodstadt MS, Chung L, Kronitz R, Cook G,1997). In this case a prohibited source is any person or organization doing business or seeking to do business with the employee's company, giving a gift would imply that the potential party is seeking special favors from the employee (Biner PM, Kidd HJ, 1994).

Conduct ethics prohibit an employees from soliciting a gift “in appreciation of” services. This is because employees are supposed to offer excellent services and customers have that privilege of getting excellent services without paying an extra dime as the old say confirms “the customer is King or Queen”..

Organized Labor Force.
Organized labor force comprise of organization which ensures that employees are well taken care of through provision of excellent working environment and conditions. The organized labor force influences the way an employee is rewarded and also bargains for better remunerations and proper working environment.

In the public sector since employees are allowed to join labor force like union of workers they are able to claim for their benefits through the organization. It’s common fact that Unions have earned reputation to protect workers’ interests and fight for wages increase and better work conditions.

The Existing Wage Reward System
Though in the public sector there is a reward system which is mainly financially based, its effectiveness is wanting.

The problem with cash based incentives is that they don’t hold any trophy value; cash being dispensable and readily usable gets spent just like the wage and does not motivate employees at all. Cash is forgotten after it is spent and sustains little, if any association with achievements.

Since the public entities utilize cash based rewards, their programs fail and cash could no longer acts as a real motivator.

In conclusion, the use of employee motivation techniques and specifically financial-based rewards such as bonuses, commissions and job promotions in public administration entities works differently for professional workers and low level contingent workers. These differences arise primarily due to their diversity in terms of needs, perceptions of desirable rewards and abilities.

In fact, different motivational theories have attempted to explain how these differences affect employees’ motivation from different perspectives. Therefore public administration managers ought to employ different approaches to motivate these aforementioned two groups.

In fact, as a result of these above mentioned differences, public administration employees can be motivated using different techniques other than financial-based rewards such as on-job challenges, provision of work autonomy as well as providing performance feedbacks to motivate professional workers.

To effectively motivate low level workers, dependent workers, techniques such as pay increase, permanent employment status after certain time on the job and opportunities for professional development are recommended.



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Published: 2009-10-11
Author: Sapard vincent-de Paul Mozes Tshimankinda Ngandu Kalala

About the author or the publisher
-International Counsel & LAW SOCIETY OF UPPER CANADA and Ghana (Barrister - Solicitor)
President-Founder of NPPPC in D R Congo

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