Compensation Café Round-Up: Bonuses, Cash Rewards, How We Work, Retention and More

Recognize This: In this round-up of my last five posts, I examine challenges with incentives, bonus and cash awards when inappropriately applied as well as ideas for how working less can help us work more.

It’s a good many months since I’ve posted here a round-up of my posts on the Compensation Café blog. Since I posted there today, here is a quick summary of my 2013 Café posts. Click through on the titles to read the full posts.

Choosing the Right Currency for Compensation & Rewards (28th February 2013)

If you polled your employees and asked them, “What kind of rewards would you prefer?”, how do you think they’d respond? The vast majority of the time, the answer is: “Cash.” Of course we all want more cash. But what employees say they want for rewards, what actually works best to motivate employees, and what employees enjoy as rewards are entirely different things. In this post, I examine these issues in more depth.

Why Working Less Helps Us Work More (20th February 2013)

Looking at research and comments from Tony Schwartz, I examine the possibility that working less could actually help us work more. Don’t worry. I’m not advocating a 35-hour work week or two months as standard vacation policy. I am arguing for building renewal into the cultural rhythm of the organization. We need to consciously encourage our team members and colleagues to renew while at work. To, yes, work hard, but then take reasonable (and regular) breaks to renew, to catch up with friends and colleagues, and – through those casual conversations – to innovate.

Bonuses, Perks and Benefits – Finding What Works (and What Doesn’t) (8th February 2013)

In this post, I shared my take on several bonus and benefit programs that hit my newsfeed. I discuss the challenges and what you can do instead with perks programs that reward only a select few, mandatory sick leave and culture as the driver of all other rewards.

Why Employees Actually Leave (Hint: It’s Not Money) (29th January 2013)

I attended a webinar given by Leigh Branham, author of The Seven Hidden Reasons People Leave. In this post, I share the main points I learned in the webinar:

  • A significant gap exists between why managers think employees leave and why they really do.
  • Better pay alone or more perks cannot fix the problem of employees feeling undervalued and unrecognized.
  • Pay and benefits are growing as areas of concern in recent years.

I also share my lessons learned:

  1. Create survey instruments or methodologies that deliver more reliable information.
  2. Respond to the reality of today’s workforce, not the experiences of the past.
  3. Restore benefits and pay as quickly as possible.

More Unintended Consequences from Ill-Planned Incentives (8th January 2013)

What motivates us at work is ultimately a very personal and individual topic, though generalities do apply. That’s why I get a chuckle out of research study after research study showing we nearly always guess incorrectly what would motivate others. In this post, I share two explicit examples of this:

  1. Perfect Attendance Awards Incent the Wrong Behaviors
  2. Unintended Consequences of Incentives at the Olympics

Derek Irvine

About Derek Irvine

The VP of Client Strategy and Consulting at Globoforce, Derek Irvine is one of the world’s foremost experts on employee recognition and engagement, helping business leaders set a higher vision and ambition for their organizations. As a renowned speaker and co-author of "The Power of Thanks" and "Winning with a Culture of Recognition," he teaches companies how to use recognition to proactively manage company culture. Derek holds a B.Comm and Masters of Business Studies from the Smurfit Graduate Business School at University College Dublin.

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