Is providing incentives to employees at work really a good step or should employers stay with Theory X? Employee Incentive Programs have been a proven tool for effective management of the human resource of any organization and hence, is a motivation to the employee(s) to work more diligently. The top management now understands the fact that a highly motivated workforce is not only beneficial but also inevitable for their organization. On the other hand employees too are in search of a better compensation or reward for the extra efforts they put in to the work (Employee incentive programs, 2004). Compensating them fairly also gives them a sense of recognition for their task accomplished.
How to do it?
A well designed and properly catered Incentive Plan can be leveraged to increase the overall employee productivity hence profiteering for the company; on the contrary, a poorly designed plan might go the extent of yield the totally opposite results which might be disastrous to the company, keeping its level of operations aside.
The baby boomers in such an era of downsizing have been also suffering with lesser number of jobs and new blood entering the market with the know-how of the latest technology and fresh education. Whereas the baby boomers group, as a whole, are an aging population many of which are getting retired due to several reasons including their age(s) health, capacity to work, usefulness in the area they have been working previously.
The number attributable to the baby boomers population is not very surprising but is increasing the concerns of a number of companies and industries. As per the statistics more than 40 million Americans are between 55 and 69 years of age; and this is an ever growing number owing to the reduced death rate and increasing population of the world as a whole. Having the largest segment of the American workforce as part of the baby boomers category, all sorts of businesses have raised their eyebrows for they are now facing a very unique sort of challenge that is a need to plan about how to fill in the huge gap that will be created as these baby boomers continue to retire from their jobs. For this purpose the companies have extended their retirement periods and providing them with incentives to stay back and work. This is a necessary step owing to the fact that these people have been working with the company for so many years and have seen decades of ups and downs; now they have the pre-requisite knowledge, expertise and skills to actually get the things done. And one can manage the mindsets and/or get the things done out of people then he/she can actually rule the world.
On the other hand baby boomers have been starting out new setups from scratch financed by the life long savings that they have been accumulating. Since this is a fact that the demand for human jobs have been decreasing as more and more companies are making their operation capital intensive to leverage technology as well as exploit the other advantages of automation as well. However may of the businesses recognize the real value of the intellectual capital that these baby boomers posses and some have retained them as employees and continue to provide them facilities hence benefiting in the businesses by aided decisions.
As per studies conducted, replacing an employee can cost up to $7000 whereas in case of a senior manger, it might become $40000. This shows that having a dissatisfied team on your platform has costs far beyond your wildest dreams and can potentially bankrupt the company. This also a reason which is contributing in retaining the baby boomers.
By using the theory of Expectancy (Peter, 2006), in which vroom stated that outcomes are dependant upon the choices we one makes in selecting the type of work and the way to do it; results yielded have been fairly positive enough to influence almost every organization to develop a well designed Incentive system for employees’ rewards. Employees, given the incentive to work, are likely to work for the following reasons;
- The want to be recognized uniquely.
- They want to feel a sense of achievement,
- They want to be applauded in front of their fellow workers, and
- They want to own their task and its results.
This not only motivates the workforce to work harder, but also decreases the employee turnover rate, improves productivity per employee, increases the level of customer satisfaction, and thus generates a return on investment which can be 4-5 times or more of the actual investment made regarding the reward/incentive program.
“Working.com” is Canadian based site which has not only been contributing in getting jobs to these aging baby boomers but also is assisting them with business ideas (Dickey & Hodgins, 2004).
Motivational theories tend to play with the basic and un-conscious goals of the individuals and leverage the deepest desires of human minds to cash them into their own benefit in such a way so that the employees feel well compensated for whatever he/she contributed. Motivation though has the capability to alter the behaviors but is different from the behavioral theories; in fact they are part of the broader picture!
It is a fact that baby boomers aren’t wanted any more in the quantity as they used to be; in fact there are now relatively lesser jobs per labor not only in the United States but globally. Therefore this reality can’t be changed but what most companies have been doing is either retaining these people as senior managers for decision making or guiding them in making profitable investments or to start up their own businesses of different kinds.
- Dickey James D. and Hodgins Paul (2004) Farebox Revenue Incentive Program. Phoenix: Management & Business Solutions
- Employee incentive programs (2004) .Retrieved April 6, 2008, from jada.ada.org.
- G. Northouse Peter (2006) Leadership: Theory and Practice. Sage Publications, In