Will bribing your Employees Make them Work Harder?

Will bribing your employees make them work harder?

We’ve heard about rewards and recognition programs at companies, but does giving your secretary an IPad or your graphic designer a gift card really make them more engaged, inspired or loyal?

Companies like Youearnedit , Loyaltyworks and Augeo sell products that are supposed to boost employee engagement and get people to feel recognized in the workplace, but it’s tricky to investigate if these actually have an impact on employee productivity or make people work just for gifts.

Do the ends justify the means? Does it matter if you are working hard because you love the company you work for or because you want to get some free movie tickets? Interestingly, Youearnedit.com not only sells the rewards program itself, but permit people to actually earn rewards related to things they care about- like giving back to the community or a foundation close to their hearts.

Robin Anisef, recruiting expert from Proforce Personnel, lends her insight into how she feels about programs like these:

“It’s a fun and exciting thing to do. It’s almost like when everyone at the office purchases a lottery ticket. People know the chances of winning are slim, but they are still happy that they get to participate in it. It really creates a sense of community to praise and compliment each other for a job well done. It also permits you to partner up with interesting charities and get involved in your community. I think more businesses should be doing it.”

Seems peachy keen, however….could it backfire?

Some could predict that instilling a short term reward could potentially distract employees from their daily tasks as they focus on winning the contest rather than doing their job properly. Some employees can even get competitive and, instead of creating a sense of community, the “winners” or “losers” can become divided.

How do we avoid this negative outcome? The best results in employee rewards and employee engagement seem to revolve around having fun, being praised by colleagues and the sentiment of having helped others.

For successful, long term boosts in your company’s’ productivity, it is essential to attach the reward to something interesting- make it clear and consistent and not about competition but about fostering a sense of community.


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