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Opinion: Going beyond micro-rewards

www.telanganatoday.com | September 7, 2023

Scaling back or minimising the actions of rewarding employees can result in a significant decline in their performance levels

People Management in any context is a code that is waiting to be cracked. For years, the most effective techniques of managing people have been subjected to trial and error, with some emerging as momentary victors and the rest being utter failures. The most recent triumph came in the shape of ‘Micro-rewarding’ employees at work in order to boost their motivation and productivity.

Micro-rewarding is a strategy used by organisations to increase employee enthusiasm and productivity levels. It involves giving tiny incentives to employees once they achieve certain goals. Whether they use a points system to get rewards or monetary incentives differs from organisation to organisation (Epstein, 2023).

Attracting Young

Employee behaviour has altered dramatically in recent years, and with fewer incentives, younger people are less likely to stay in a job. Organisations today aim to specifically hire young people with fresh perspectives to inject new ideas and bring their organisation up to date. They go to great lengths to entice young people for their own organisation’s advantages, even after being aware of the fact that maintaining young people’s motivation and success is a challenging undertaking. In order to prevent the youthful crowd from quitting their organisation, they, therefore, have begun to come up with a variety of novel concepts.

According to various studies, two-thirds of recent workplace employees are dissatisfied with their employer, even after immense efforts for this exact situation not to occur. And this has a number of detrimental effects on an organisation, most notably decreased production and quality (‘10 Benefits of Employee Incentive Programs in The Workplace’, 2022).

After intensive research, it was discovered that employee production and output levels increased significantly once micro-rewarding and other incentivised programmes were established. The employees started to feel appreciated and valued. But, as with all good things, there is always a catch!

Production Levels

Overstimulation of employees through frequent rewards might also reduce their production levels. It’s almost as if employees start taking these benefits for granted and don’t work hard enough to earn them! So it is not just about the rewards that are given, but also about the time-frames in which they must be offered in order to maintain employee morale at just about the optimal level.

Additionally, there could also be extremely detrimental impacts on the workers if you scale back or minimise the actions of rewarding them, which would almost certainly result in a significant decline in their performance levels.

Reward management has become extremely complicated, challenging, and highly vulnerable to external factors like societal norms, economic conditions, and employee-specific preferences and views. What applies to, is effective at, and improves performance for one employee or group may not have the same impact on other employees in the same situations (Murphy, 2015).

Micro-rewarding, however, appears to be emerging as a serious competitor in recent years and not just with regard to individuals, but also about groups and teams. It is seen to have several advantages because come on, who doesn’t like being pampered with extravagant gifts and luxuries?

Organisations have delighted their employees with everything from branded handbags to shoes, electronics to various eye-opening gift hampers! But does it ever occur to you that these approaches are employed just for the goal of motivating their staff and making them feel valued, or are they merely used to recruit hundreds of other individuals to their organisation by portraying a favourable external image?

Two-way Relation

Are incentivised programmes truly introduced to make employees feel valued, or are they designed to make outsiders aspire to such privileges in their own professional lives? This question keeps coming to mind, especially when we see specific awards or incentives with the corporate logo on them. Whether it’s hoodies, mugs, bottles, gift hampers or even pens, when your employer offers you anything, it often doesn’t feel personalised for you, but rather it seems all about them. It’s almost as if we’re providing free advertising for them by wearing their branded hoodie when we’re cold or utilising the towel set they gave us for Diwali when friends visit our home.

As they say, there are always two sides to a story, and this particular situation might be no exception! Sometimes, it’s so easy to just acknowledge something that was done wonderfully and reward it. But everything is so complicated these days that it requires careful consideration of every last aspect.

Whether they are micro rewards or non-micro awards, really appreciating the work of the employees and recognising them for it can go a long way toward retaining the most effective people for your company. In addition to guaranteeing devoted and content workers, this will significantly strengthen and deepen relationships with the workforce. And which organisation doesn’t want strong relationships that could help it succeed in the long-run?

This article has been co-authored by Tarini Suri, Undergraduate Student, FLAME University, and Prof. Moitrayee Das, Faculty of Psychology, FLAME University.

(Source:- https://telanganatoday.com/opinion-going-beyond-micro-rewards )