Team Based Incentives Vs Individual Incentives Essay

, Research Paper

Employees? job satisfaction always improves when they are recognized for the hard work they put in to a company and incentives are a very good method of improving the moral and productivity of workers. An easy way to give recognition to employees is to reward them for their hard work. The increase in cost of these incentives to the company is negligible in comparison to the increase in productivity from the employees. There are many methods of rewarding an employee, varying from yearly bonuses, time off, profit sharing, stock options or an increase in responsibility . With the move towards team-based structures within companies, it is becoming difficult to know how to reward employees performing outstanding work. Using individual based incentives for workers involved in a team structure can be detrimental to the group and the organization.

Teams work best when ideas are shared among the members. When you award incentives to individual people for their performance in the team, ideas do not get shared. People are unwilling to share information because everyone will want to ensure he or she gets credit for the ideas. Hoarding of ideas and an unwillingness to share information seriously harms the team?s usefulness and this results in less productivity. A better approach is to reward the overall team based on their results. With individual incentives, workers will want to be the ones responsible for creating any new ideas, especially the one that the team decides to follow. In this situation, team members will want to push their ideas through and be hesitant to embrace the ideas of others since another person will be receiving credit for the creation of the original idea. With a team-based incentive program in place, members will want to choose the best idea that will produce the optimum results. Members will be willing to listen to all the ideas presented and feel no bias in choosing any of the suggestions since the aim is the improvement of the whole team, not just one individual. This will result in all ideas being considered evenly and ensure the team works with the best information possible without care for individual rewards.

When people know that they will receive extra rewards for work done, they will strive to do as much as possible in order to appear hard working. This may appear beneficial for the overall team however this will actually lead to an unfair division of responsibility within the team. People will be unwilling to perform the non-critical tasks in favour of performing tasks in which they will receive notice from their superiors. When this occurs, jobs deemed less important will be overlooked or delegated to others. The dominant personalities within the team will try to perform the critical work to ensure they get noticed. This will cause tension within the team and the overall work will be substandard due to the inability of the members to work together. If employees do receive incentives for the work they perform, resentment could arise in those who feel they performed as hard as the rest of the group but did not receive an equal reward. This will cause negative feelings that will be difficult to overcome should the team have to continue working together. Ultimately, these negative feelings can sabotage the entire purpose of teamwork.

Gauging any group?s overall performance is relatively simple, especially if the tasks are rather straightforward ones but to gauge the division and importance of each task a member performs will present a problem to any supervisor. While evaluating the overall aim may be simple, evaluating the quality of work that each member performed can be difficult due to the synergistic nature of teamwork. For any supervisor to properly give rewards to the members in the team, he needs detailed knowledge of each person?s performance. This is a rather difficult thing to monitor without micro-managing the group. To avoid micro-managing a group, the supervisor can utilize a group evaluation however this will not be very effective if individual incentives are used to motivate team members. People will not give honest evaluations if they know not everyone will receive equal rewards. Since judging every individual?s performance in a team will be difficult, using team based incentives are easier to implement and use to create more efficient teams that will produce better results.

?Gainsharing plans tend to improve team dynamics and pay satisfaction. They also create a reasonable strong effort-to-performance expectancy because much of the cost reduction and labour efficiency is within the team?s control.? By using gainsharing, workers are concerned more about working together to achieve savings than working alone. While there are many advantages for using team-based incentives such as this to improve teamwork, individual incentives can be effectively introduced to motivate the team. An optimum arrangement will be to utilize both team and individual based incentives to promote productivity. Knowing that there are rewards for individual work, employees who are hardworking and willing to do work beyond what is expected of them will be further motivated to go that extra mile. For those employees who do put in extra effort, they will feel more satisfied that their extra work is being recognized and rewarded and they will be more productive in the future. With only team based rewards, employees who do perform extra work and do not receive credit for their initiative will be hesitant to work harder in future tasks


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