Monetary bonuses are commonplace in many workplaces. The argument about whether or not they have a positive impact on motivation is not one that is likely to be settled soon. It is my belief that they can help to give short-term bursts of motivation but the risk is that, in the long-term, employee’s attention is focused toward gaining their financial reward and not towards the value of the work itself. Wouldn’t we all rather have employees who are motivated because they care about what they are doing and want the company to be a success than a bunch of people thinking about their bonus at the end of the year?
That’s not to say that all bonuses have the same impact – giving unexpected rewards or recognition has been shown to have a positive impact on motivation because it is a form of positive feedback whilst not directing the individual’s focus toward the reward itself (they don’t know it’s coming!).
As part of my research I want to explore how different forms of one-off recognition award impact on motivation. It could be cold hard cash, extra days’ holiday, retail vouchers, special gifts…
Has anyone come across any interesting or creative forms of one off recognition?