Section 1: Relationship between reward systems and achievement of objectives
A strategic reward system is critical in measuring several aspects of team productivity. Some of the components of a strategic reward system include financial recognitions, awards, promotions and benefits. Organizations, which adopt such initiatives, do so with an expectation of an increase in productivity and quality of services. Reward systems are either tangible or intangible. Organizations use tangible rewards to employees for those tasks that are performed (Brown, 2001). These tasks must meet or go beyond the initial expectations. For the intangible rewards, employees are complimented in public based on their achievements in an organization.
As far as achievement of objectives is concerned, reward systems have an impact due to employee motivation. When employees are rewarded both tangibly and intangibly, they tend to demonstrate behaviors that rhyme with the organizational objectives. This motivation makes it easy for managers to influence and direct such employees towards the organizational goals. A reward is appropriate and effective if it makes an employee to contribute extraordinarily to the performance of the organization. For a certain employee to qualify for a specific reward there has to be clear goals and these rewards must rhyme with other rewards for similar goals (Brown, 2001). In designing a reward system, the organization must ensure that the employee needs are met in the process. When the employee needs are matched with the objectives of the organization on which the rewards are tied, there is effectiveness and productivity.
The relationship between these strategic reward systems and the achievement of strategic objectives is based on some measures that are subject to interpretation. Due to this subjectivity, they should be understood by everyone in the organization. If employees, for instance, understand the system well, they will respond to the rewards and assist in attainment of organizational objectives (Adams & Young, 2012). Strategic reward systems may turn out to be ineffective based on the distortions that are introduced into the system based on the nature of the organization. Due to this distortion, there may be an alteration in behavior against the expectations of the organization. These alterations are based on inappropriate measures of performance that form the basis for these executive reward systems. If the pay for performance system is fully objective, there is a high likelihood that it will be imperfect. As a result, such a system is distorted.
In order to have a positive correlation between the reward system and the objectives, there is a need for inclusion of all the necessary physical, social and psychological factors. An effective manner of combining these factors for the organization is integration of objective and subjective components. Despite the fact that subjective measures are imperfect, mixing them with the objective measures complements the objective measures and promotes organizational success.
Another feature that characterizes the strategic reward system is the appropriateness in distribution of reward system. The system must influence the satisfaction and performance of employees. They are separate but interrelated, and they determine the extent of success based on usage of the strategic reward system. A well administered reward system is a major determiner of satisfaction and the resultant high performance. In most cases, individuals who receive high rewards in an organization have high satisfaction from their jobs. However, the rewards must be in line with the performance so as to influence it. The type of reward should vary based on an individual’s achievement level (Adams & Young, 2012).
Section 2: Company policies and procedures
The company for this evaluation project is Mercy Medical Center. This health service facility has a long history of community service which dates to 1893. One of the policies of Mercy Medical Centre is an improvement of patient experience. Due to this policy, the hospital’s highly trained experts offer parents peace of mind whenever there are complications (Brown, 2001). In addition, the hospital has the facilities and skilled staff for mothers who face a high risk pregnancy or a premature delivery.
The other policy is provision of compassionate and skillful healthcare. This policy has been executed through a state of the art Neonatal ICU complemented by specialized professionals in case of high risk pregnancies. A program has been developed to match with the policy of compassion and skill in healthcare at Mercy Medical Centre. This program is the Volunteer Birth Doula Program. At least 10% of births have been executed through the program, in addition to a reduction, in the need for pain medications and caesarean births (Mercy Medical Center, 2013).
Another policy at Mercy Medical center is speed in response to emergencies. This policy has been implemented with recognition that a fast response to emergency situations saves lives. In order to ensure that the members of staff of this medical centre meet the organizational objectives, Mercy Medical Centre provides the required equipment to ensure that these employees are successful. A practice that has been implemented in this emergency line is an emergency care department with specialized care for adults (Mercy Medical Center, 2013). There are amenities such as pressure reducing mattresses, magnifying glasses and hearing amplifiers. In this way, this health centre meets the needs of adults in a convenient manner.
A total reward package is used at this health facility. The elements include the base pay, performance pay and non financial rewards. The base pay relates to the amount that the employees are contracted at the time of employment. This amount is based on the educational qualifications, level of entry and the experience. This medical center also includes performance pay whereby employees are awarded an additional pay based on their output as reported by supervisors and opinions of patients. The non financial rewards encompass an announcement of the staff member of the month. Such a medical attendant is hailed for the achievements.
At Mercy Medical Centre, infrastructural investment for both employees and patients is prioritized. There are landing facilities for aircrafts and a large packing area for employee and vehicles as well as ambulances. These facilities allow the employees at this medical center to move fast in response to the needs of patients across southwest Iowa, northwest Missouri and southeast Nebraska (Mercy Medical Center, 2013). Three helicopters are integrated into this transport system to assist in linking the members of staff and patients. This has increased the pace of saving lives and hence the output of the health center.
Team work is another policy that is valued at Mercy Medical Center. This teamwork comprises of primary healthcare physicians, midlevel healthcare providers and health coaches. This has transformed the healthcare service with patients improving their health status each day. Through this coordination, the medical center has improved management and also treatment of chronic illnesses including high blood pressure and obesity. The other procedure that is carried out at this medical facility is participation in charitable courses throughout the year. Some of these causes include the ‘shoes that fit campaign’ and ‘combat hunger campaigns’. As much as these charity activities are voluntary, they receive a lot of support from employees at Mercy Medical Center (Mercy Medical Center, 2013).
Section 3: Evaluation of strategic reward systems
The first strategic reward system that is evident at Mercy Medical Center is from an intangible aspect. The medical center maintains an excellent patient experience which forms a basis for strategic rewards. This is conducted to ensure that all the human resources are applied as a competitive advantage. In this case, the management recognizes that the productivity of that the workforce has to be maximized. As a result, this organization has witnessed improved commitment and productivity of its employees. Productivity for achieving the goals of this medical organization is evidenced by the devotion of the medical personnel to offer patients peace of mind. This goes beyond the primary training of these medical practitioners hence it enhances attainment of the objectives.
For Mercy Medical Center, its strategic reward systems involve the implementation of equitable reward systems that are congruent with the organizational objectives. This is seen from the perspective that the reward system involves a fit between the organizational and individual needs. A state of the art Neonatal ICU has been provided to motivate these employees towards achieving organizational goals. In addition, this health facility has rewarded its employees indirectly through the Volunteer Birth Doula Program. By carrying out the 10% of births, the employees are rewarded through a reduction in the work burden. The exact reward tool applied here is the work-life balance. With a reduction in the work burden, these employees have additional time for other personal activities. They manage to be compassionate in their work and execute their duties skillfully.
Another strategic reward system that is equitable in this organization is the well equipped emergency care department. Efforts to handle emergency situations by employees are made efficient through investments in equipment for this department. Therefore, employees feel rewarded by the dedication of the management towards ensuring that their productivity is maintained at a high level. Through improvements in hearing and sight abilities with the help of hearing magnifiers and magnifying glasses, the members of staff feel that they have achieved. In this case, Mercy Medical Center ensures that the employees have career development activities. The reward, in this case, is through a long term strategy. The members of medical staff who attend to such patients fine-tune their skills and hence this strategic reward matches with the strategic objective of quality services.
A total reward package ensures that employees at this healthcare facility stay on course with the objectives. The basic pay ensures that the employee is rewarded for the routine efforts that he makes. The performance pays acts as the main reward system for promoting productivity at this healthcare facility. On the other hand, the nonfinancial rewards are the additional benefits that yield satisfaction and hence the motivation for employees. This strategy ensures that such members of staff strive to attain the objectives of this medical center.
The other strategic benefits, which are effective for Mercy Medical Center, are investments in infrastructure. As much as this strategy serves all the individuals, it has been employed continually to promote the productivity of these healthcare professionals. The reward is intrinsic in that all visitors employees and patients enjoy it. However, employees benefit the most since the top performers are allocated their private parking space hence improving their pride and loyalty for this healthcare institution. With the assistance of helicopters, these employees save lives in a fast manner hence their attitude towards this medical center improves.
Establishment of effective teamwork improves the cohesion and rewards the team members involved for a top performance. With the junior and senior medical practitioners engaging in teamwork, there are bonuses which translate to high productivity. The medical center also gains from increased efficiency owing to the extra devotion of these teams. Employees are rewarded by a common purpose of participating in charity activities. These efforts ensure that all the employees direct their efforts towards attaining the objectives for this healthcare institution.
Section 4: Recommendations of reward initiatives
In order to improve the relationship between reward systems and the consecutive organizational success, there should be some improvements in the reward initiatives. The first recommendation is that the reward system should incorporate two aspects – employee performance and behavior. Most organizations, including Mercy Medical Center, adopt employee performance only as the determiner of the recipients of the rewards. This is based on the ease of determining performance since it may be measured in units in order to reward behaviors that should be rewarded.
The advantage of rewarding behaviors is that there are high chances for effectiveness. Instead of rewarding the employees for the time they spend at work, the management may reward employees for specific innovative ideas or actions depicting integrity (Brown, 2001). Therefore, Mercy Medical Center should come up with reward systems for behaviors. For instance, it should reward creativity efforts towards improving the quality of medical services. Employees who enhance the response to emergency patients or give ideas on the public image of the medical center should be rewarded.
The other recommendation is that the reward and recognition systems should be considered separately. Reward systems for employees should be limited to compensation and also benefits for rewarding performance by employees and motivating them. Mercy Medical Center should go beyond these benefits and introduce strategic systems for recognition and appreciation of employees. These initiatives will go beyond the financial benefits to employees and introduce psychological benefits to all employees. Acknowledgement of employees for some accomplishments or some behaviors exhibited. Through this initiative, gratitude will be expressed to an employee and hence improve his commitment to the set objectives (Adams & Young, 2012).
Proper measurement and evaluation of performance is another recommendation. This will ensure that the reward program meets all the organizational objectives. Since these programs consume funds, it is crucial to ensure that they are measured and evaluated before rewards are given. In this case, financial metrics should be measured. In addition, the other non financial aspects that should be measured by Mercy Medical Center include reduction in defects or errors in attendance of patients, safe and fast baby deliveries and an impressive experience for patients. In conclusion, introducing these measures will ensure that Mercy Medical Center improves affiliation of employees towards the goals in the organization.
Adams, P., & Young, A. (2012). The Importance of Reward Strategy Rhetoric before its Translation into Action. The Wall Street Journal, 73-86.
Brown, D. (2001). Reward Strategies: From Intent to Impact. London: Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.
Mercy Medical Center. (2013). Message to our Community. Mercy Medical Center, 2-7.