Hello, my name is Valerie Sellars and I would like to take a moment to speak about the “Do more with less” philosophy. As the years progress and the demands for production increase, the demands for profit are ever evident in society. The phrase in hand is a quote many companies incorporate into their core competencies and values, but at what cost? With employees fearing burnouts, longer hours, elevated stress, all points leading to a greater opportunity for accidents and reduced productivity. How can the business owners improve the work environment to assure the employee their exhaustion is appreciated and noticed? Micromanaging, imposing higher production turnover rates and the self-gratification of the “can-do” employees can all have a positive effect on the corporate world if the simple resolution of incentives is instilled. By making the business world a more intimately competitive platform, it can create a more driven workforce rather than with the specifically hourly salary compensation. If you’d take a minute out of your day I’d like to propose my solution to this common problem.
We all know the effects work can have on the person, high stress, physically fatigued, under paid and sometimes mentally unstable, but why? Why do we allow the subject of work to make our skin crawl, dread sets in, and we groan at the thought of returning? When the job was first acquired, we were ecstatic to hold such placement, now that the buzz has worn off were exhausted. How do we allow our employees to reengage with their work life? How will we help break the monotone cycle and bring back positive productivity in the workplace? As the years progress, we see “do more with less” more frequently implemented as the companies try to save a dollar while reducing staffing. So how can we keep the employees satisfied while understaffing yet maintaining a positive production rate? As often as companies offer merit increases, they should also incorporate pay period incentives, positive recognition, and progressive team business updates. Doing so allows for the employee to maintain a positive competitive attitude that allows them to view their work as valued and appreciated. Not only would they be earning a paycheck, they are in a competitive program in which you can acquire time off, a paid vacation, a bonus; something to show that your work, time and effort is noticed and appreciated. According to “strategic reward and recognition” if an employee goes above and beyond the call of duty and provides exceptional service or assists with an unexpected task many organizations will recognize their performance publicly and sometimes allot a small reward. (Fisher 4). As recognition is implemented in the workplace it allows for a better bottom line to become attainable, the employee is now positively reinforced in their work efforts and strive for a more successful turnout for their employer. With the economy moving more towards a technology basis it is crucial to remind the labor force that they are still very much a vital and irreplaceable component in their position. We know that hours won’t change, so why are we not making the labored side of the world a better place to live. According to the Center for Effective Organizations in 1998, the demand for overworking their employees and reducing staffing was ever evident, resulting in the same occurrence of mental, physical, and emotional exhaustion that is still present in 2020. Why have we not changed the game, with technology developing around the globe why are we still using the same tactics that are long over dated. “Running On Empty” by Julia Welch and other authors was written to show the effects and demands the work environment has on the labor force. Julia states that people would rather quit their well-paying job versus overworking and missing out on their personal activities.
The solution promoted is, incentives. According to Harold Stolovich in his article “incentives, motivation and workplace performance” incentives improve a production rate from 22% to 44% doubling the output while increasing company morale and the willingness of workers to engage themselves completely into their work. In turn the incentive programs attract more desirable employees making their market a more competitive place of business. As the incentives can be cash rewards or the reward of choice by the employee, the opportunity to have access to a reward for a hard days work weighs lightly on the shoulders of the employee and the management implementing the reward system to those who’ve earned it. The conditions for a successful incentive program are inadequate performance, deficiencies in motivation, the employees willingness to improve, challenging but achievable goal, being able to promote a better practice and behavior without colliding with the goals in place. In order for a successful outcome management would need to interact with the employees, take assessments, implement rules and support their workers, while making personal connections enabling the human reaction to positive enforcement uplifting the morale of those involved. In return for a successful team the incentive received by management would be greater than that of an unproductive year; the better the production the better incentive received by management.
Not only do incentives help the employee, they can be beneficial to the company. According to the employee incentives contests and income taxes states that there is a taxable limit you can give to the employees. With the right incentive plan instilled you can allot 400-1600 dollars annually to the selected employees as long as the payment is not disguised as compensation and is meaningful. The provision to this rule is in the 1986 tax reform act, title I Subtitle C “ Includes in gross income the total amount of unemployment compensation received by an individual, Allows an income tax exclusion for certain prizes and awards, Provides a limited tax exclusion for employee achievement awards provided such an award: (1) is awarded as part of a meaningful presentation; and (2) is awarded under conditions and circumstances that do not create a significant likelihood of the payment of disguised compensation.” In order for the tax deduction to work the payment must be in a money related manner rather than gifts such as food, jewelry and other tangible materials in order to be written off as a business expense. If gifts are given to the employee they must be displayed in a meaningful manner rather than a form of payment.
With all great plans there is always a negative effect it can have. The downside to the incentive programs is the employees cheating the system in order to gain access to more incentives throughout the. For Example, according to Joanne Sammer, Wells Fargo was involved in a scandal in 2017 for unmanaged incentive programs. The management was not maintaining the proper visuals on the program which led to hundreds of fake accounts, resulting in a larger pay out to the employees. For the program to function properly the management has to supervise their employees properly. Assuring the corporations that the pay outs are correct rather than allowing the employees to steal company money. The percent paid out shouldn’t be 50/50, it would work better if the employee made 95% compensation and 5% incentive, allowing the company to have a more competitive workforce without holding the risk of falsified statistics. The only way for the incentive programs to work is for those involved to own and enforce their position and work in an honest and productive environment. With the mind set of a better workplace I think we can depart with the knowledge that incentive-based companies do offer a better work environment and they should be largely implemented in a majority of companies. With the proper program instilled, constant monitoring, positive reinforcement the pay out will be far greater than the company giving away money to those who earned it. The trickle effect it will cause will not only make it better for the employees, it will start with the CEO all the way to the customer for the better experiences given and the better mental, emotional and financial opportunities for those involved. The ability to create an effectively competitive work environment will create a positive reaction to those willing to step out of their comfort zone and show the corporate world what they are capable of achieving.
- Welch, Julia et al. Running On Empty: Overworked People In Demanding Work Environments. The University Of Southern California, February, 1998. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Gretchen_Spreitzer/publication/237241785_RUNNING_ON_EMPTY_OVERWORKED_PEOPLE_IN_DEMANDING_WORK_ENVIRONMENTS_G_98-4_332/links/54b8f8b50cf2c27adc490b5d.pdf
- Stolovich, Harold PHD. Incentives, Motivation and Work Performance: Research and Best Practices. Incentive research foundation,20 January, 2010https://theirf.org/research/incentives-motivation-and-workplace-performance-research-and-best-practices/147/
- Huds, Dirk. “Employee Incentive Contests and Income Taxes.” Small Business – Chron.com, http://smallbusiness.chron.com/employee-incentive-contests-income-taxes-38517.html. Accessed 01 February 2020.
- Rostenkowski, and Dan. “H.R.3838 – 99th Congress (1985-1986): Tax Reform Act of 1986.” Congress.gov, 22 Oct. 1986, www.congress.gov/bill/99th-congress/house-bill/3838.
- Sammer, Joanne. “When Bonus Incentives Goes Bad- And how to prevent it” SHRM.org, 3 January, 2017. https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/hr-topics/compensation/pages/bonus-incentives-gone-bad.aspx
- Fisher, John G. “Strategic Reward and Recognition: Improving employee performance through non-monetary incentives.” Philadelphia, kogan page limited, 2015. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=nri6CQAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PP1&dq=%22effective+programmes%22+employee+incentive+schemes&ots=PsjnkyVjqH&sig=_PfBXdqn1QpP4dvlew6bUKwb5xI#v=onepage&q=%22effective%20programmes%22%20employee%20incentive%20schemes&f=false
- Study.com, Study.com, study.com/academy/lesson/what-are-employee-incentives-types-examples-quiz.html.