Motivating employees to reach company goals involves giving employees an incentive to perform to expectations, by appealing to their needs at the psychological level or from a financial perspective. In some industries, businesses develop incentives schemes in order to motivate employees to reduce current absentee levels (Kohn, 1999), as one relevant example.
Spitzer (2000) further offers that in order for any reward structure to be successful, the business must first create what is referred to as a scheme of recurrence, which basically means a consistent reward structure which has very clearly defined rewards for specific performance activities. "If reward structures reflect what is asked for, it will become a systematic reality" (Spitzer, 2000, p.81). This would suggest that it would be highly important for a business to fully understand what types of specific rewards would be embraced by employees prior to adopting and launching a reward scheme.
Individual recognition could theoretically come in many forms, such as the aforementioned promise of promotion for meeting target goals, praising the employee in front of managers, colleagues or clients, or offering an incentive bonus (after an annual review) which rewards the individual at a later time for meeting performance targets.
1.1 Research question and objectives
This proposed study research question seeks to uncover whether today's employees in the UK are motivated more by reward schemes or individual performance recognition'
This study maintains two distinct objectives:
Identify the perceptions of a wide variety of different employees, in different industries, regarding what they would consider to be an acceptable reward scheme to boost individual motivation.
To uncover which methods are available to today's businesses to increase motivational levels of employees through individual recognition efforts.
1.2 Justification for research study
This proposed research study is of considerable interest to today's businesses for many reasons. First, today's global economic recession is putting significant pressures on businesses to reduce the payouts associated with various reward schemes in order to recognise costs and satisfy budget restrictions (Blackwell, 2009). When facing budget problems, it would be of considerable interest to today's companies to explore whether individual recognition can provide the necessary motivation to make employees excel in their unique job functions so as to be able to abandon costly reward schemes. Further, only one in ten organisations, today, have been able to accurately measure whether any of their reward scheme expenditures have met with higher motivational levels as return on the investment (Blackwell). For businesses currently using reward schemes to motivate, but are unable to determine whether the investment is worth the