Reward Strategy – How to Get People to Give Their Best to Your Organisation

How do you attract and keep high quality staff? What mechanisms help in recruitment, retention, engagement and development of employees so that they perform and deliver at their highest potential and therefore make the organisation successful? types of organisational culture

The first question to ask is: what motivates people to work? Why spend time and talent in the service of an organisation, even if its your own organisation when self-employed? Because there is some ‘reward’ to do so. At face value, people work because they gain an income to spend on their individual, family and community needs. Some needs are the essentials of life, what humans needs to survive physiologically. Maslow defined the hierarchy of needs with fundamental physiological needs at the base and rising through safety, social needs and culminating in the need for self-fulfilment. Herzberg distinguished between firstly ‘hygiene’ extrinsic factors such as pay and organisation policy and procedures that will cause dissatisfaction in the workplace if absent or insufficient. Secondly, ‘satisfiers’ which are intrinsic factors such as the ‘value’ of the work, achievement, recognition, responsibility and potential for growth which will positively motivate people.

Since Maslow and Herzberg were published over 50 years ago, other theories of motivation have been developed. These tend to centre on cognitive or process theories – how people think about their ‘reward’. Expectancy theory identifies two factors of value and probability. People value reward in terms of how well it satisfies their needs of security, social esteem, fulfilment and autonomy. Inevitably people value different elements differently, which suggests reward must include a mix. Expectancy is the probability that reward depends on effort – the more effort, the higher the reward. For that effort to be helpful to the organisation, individuals needs to have the appropriate ability and the correct perception of their role. This emphasises the need for clear role definitions and understanding, effective learning and development interventions and a link between performance and reward (not necessarily performance related ‘pay’).



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