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Motivation is the willingness to exert high levels of effort toward organizational goals, conditioned by the effort’s ability to satisfy some individual needs (Robbins, 168). For some business analysts, employee motivation is a good way to increase productivity in an organization. When people get motivated, they will have a reason to put more efforts on what they are doing. Motivation is a crucial management tool in lifting the organization’s work force’s ability.
There are many different ways to motivate employees. Employers can motivate their workers as individuals, groups, teams, or the organization as a whole. Motivation takes forms like offering rewards, improving working conditions, or employee recognition. However, which approach should employers try?
Team-based reward systems have been raised as an issue in work management areas. Many people prefer team-based reward systems to an individual approach. San Diego Business Journal, issued on Oct. 6, 1997, published an article titled “Team-Based Productivity Incentive System.” This article summarized the ideas that supported the team-based approach. The author, Bob Harrington, opposed the individual reward system. As he stated, individual reward systems create unnecessary competition and reduce cooperation between employees. It also reduces creativity because employees will only do what is necessary to get rewarded. Moreover, Harrington said team-based incentives influence individuals to work well together and cooperate with one another. No longer are employees and management measured purely against financial information. Instead, outstanding performance is based on a combination of items that measure the strategic objectives of the corporation. This paper will see if the team-based incentive systems are the best approach for business environments as Harrington discussed.
Medical insurance and educational opportunities, among others are all common benefits in compensation programs for many manufacturers. Many people argued that these benefits attract and retain employees, but have little to do with work performance. Some also believe that if these benefits are spread out among workers in general, these kinds of work incentives will not guarantee good performance. Well Pay vs. Sick Pay is an example of how an incentive program reinforces wrong behavior and reduces productivity. Manufacturers with incentive systems that reward employees for achievements and growth can increase their competitiveness and profitability in today’s global market.

Yes, it is true that organizations need to have incentive systems to satisfy their work force. Team-based incentive systems such as gain sharing, profit sharing, etc., become increasingly popular in work environments. People now are required to work as a team, and altogether help each other to achieve an objective. Your work is my work, and your responsibility is mine. People will become more cohesive as working in a group or a team. Team-based incentives offer several advantages. However, I do not totally agree with Harrington that individual incentive systems do not have any good influence over workers’ performance.

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Some people are extremely successful when they work on their own. People, who are raised in an individualistic culture, might not benefit from working in a group. So, individual incentive systems do play an important role in increasing a work force’s productivity as long as the employers know how to use this reinforcement system properly. If organizations set a standard to measure individual achievement and reward that individual on what he (she) perform, then, the individual incentive system might work as well as the team-based one. Moreover, managers need to realize that team-based incentive systems might cause Social Loafing effect in the work force – the tendency for individuals to expend less effort when working collectively than when working individually (Robbins, 260).

Motivations are necessary in a working environment to increase the productivity of the work force. Reward systems must create a win-win situation for employees and employers. Team-based incentive systems might work very well and are a preferred process for many organizations in today’s work market; however, managers should adopt individual incentive systems in many cases, when employees are more skillful, efficient, and effective as working individually. The major purpose of the incentive system is to motivate and organize employees.

1. Alonzo, Vincent. “Only The Scared Survive.” Sales and Marketing Management. January 1998, v150 n1 p28(2).

2. Barnard, Janet. “The Workplace Environment.” Industry Management. September 1997, v39 n5 p14(3).

3. Harrington, Bob. “Team-Based Productivity Incentive System.” San Diego Business Journal. October 6, 1997, v18 n40 p10(1).

4. Hertzog, Karla. “Motivate Your Staff With Time-Related Benefits.” San Diego Business Journal. October 6, 1997, v18 n40 p17(1).

5. Jeski, Deane. “Searching for Recruits.” Management Magazine. July 1995, v70 n7 p14(2).

6. Robbins, Stephen. Organizational Behavior. New Jersey 1998.
7. Stamps, David. “Training for New Sales Game.” Training Magazine. July 1997, v34 n7 p46(5).

8. Woodson, Henry. “Filling the IT Shortage.” Business News. April 20, 1997, p420B112.


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