In many organizations, improper rewarding methods are used which end up not achieving their intended objectives. A good rewarding method should ensure that the consequences of the rewards are achieved for the benefits of the whole organization. This paper analyses how rewards can be used to obtain the intended results.
Improper use of rewards
As the author of this article argues, many times reward systems that are used in different organizations end up rewarding the wrong people who were not supposed to be rewarded in the first place (Kerr, 1995). The intention of any effective reward system is to reward those staffs, learners or soldiers that have shown exemplary performance compared to others in order to motivate them to work even harder. However, when rewards end up being given to the wrong people due to failure of the reward system that is used to assess the performance of the staffs or due to any other reason, then the intention of the reward system is lost in the organization. In the case of universities, rewards for good teaching are very few and only limited to a few outstanding lecturers. These lecturers are just given a small recognition and little money that is not equivalent to the efforts they have used to perform excellently. These lecturers may feel that they have received less than what they deserved and their work is not properly appreciated thus becoming less motivated to continue working hard. In the universities the area that is worst rewarded is the publication and research area where learners are given grades they do not deserve for their term papers, essays, academic projects, and examinations. It is believed that the main purpose of the university is to pass knowledge from the lecturers to the students and the achievement of this goal is reflected by the grades that are given at the end of the course. Consequently, lecturers and students have concentrated so much on the grades rather than knowledge associated with them. Unfortunately, this problem is also transferred in the job market and other places where grades are used to give employment opportunities.
In business, improper reward system is seen in the insurance company which uses criteria that insignificantly differentiates between hard working employees and negligent employees. The difference in the performance of the two workers is only two points while in reality the gap between their performances is huge. This criterion makes many employees to become negligent since the disciplinary action taken against them is small and they will not be properly rewarded for hard work. This trend of improperly rewarding hardworking staffs is also common in government, in sports, and in politics.
Proper reward system
A good reward system should ensure that the rewards that are given achieve the intended consequences. For instance, if the rewards are intended to motivate staffs to work harder, then the results ought to be observed if the reward system is effective and reliable. If the rewards are given and then the intended consequences are not achieved, then the system needs to be changed or improved. For example, in universities, lecturers ought to be rewarded appropriately for good teaching by giving them some motivational rewards such as promotion to prestigious positions like departmental or faculty heads, giving them monetary gifts, names at the hall of fame, achievement certificates among others so as to encourage them to even look for better teaching methods. Secondly, research and publication work should be richly rewarded by recognizing and rewarding those researchers who have spent a lot of time and other resources to come up with new ideas (Unnirishnan, 2009). In addition, grades should be proportionally related to the knowledge level of the learner. It is not right to give grades a lot of weight at the expense of knowledge in a certain field. Universities ought to develop new methods of assessing the knowledge level of the learners to make sure that they are given grades that are equivalent to the level of knowledge in a particular field. This principle should also apply in the work place where workers should be properly rewarded for their performance. Companies ought to develop a good criterion for assessing the performance of their workers; and also ensure the rewards that are given are equivalent to the level of performance (Burroughs et al., 2011). This will motivate workers to work even harder and hence improving the performance of the whole organization. Companies should be looking more at the performance of their employees particularly their efficiency in what they are doing. Performance assessment should be based not only on observable behaviors but also on unobservable behaviors that affect performance of the company. A good reward system is not a strategy of manipulating workers but it is a way of making them more productive (Burroughs et al., 2011).
In my opinion, this article has focused well on the improper use of rewards in schools and work place that have not translated into the intended results. A good reward system should ensure workers/ learners are rewarded accordingly for their performances. This will motivate employees/learners to work even harder.
Burroughs, J., Dahl, W., Moreau, C., Chattopadhyay, A. & Gorn, J., (2011). Facilitating and Rewarding Creativity During New Product Development. Journal of Marketing, 75(4), 53-67.
Kerr, S. (1995). "On the folly of rewarding A, while hoping for B."Academy of Management Executive, 9(1), 7-14.
Unnirishnan, M. K., (2009). Rewarding Researchers: A Case Study. CURIE Journal, 2(3), 70-73.