Surprising News about Bonuses that Really Engage Employees

Bonuses that Really Engage Employees

What Bonuses Really Engage Employees?
Most leaders want to use bonuses that really engage employees to strive to do their best work and be loyal over the long-term.

The Most Common Bonuses
Talent management strategies and total rewards programs typically hand out bonuses to spur motivation and reward high performance. Most often these bonuses come in the form of financial gifts and the recipients are expected to spend the money on themselves in a way that makes sense for them.

Are The Bonuses Effective?
But do these monetary rewards achieve leadership’s objective of encouraging improved behavior and higher levels of performance?

Some employee engagement training specialists say that the opposite is true.  Why?

Because the other employees (the ones who do not receive the rewards) are apt to be jealous and competitive and thus damage the very team dynamic required for higher performance.  Additionally, research by Tim Judge found less than 2% overlap between pay and employee engagement levels and the Journal of Business Research found rewarding team performance improves overall results.

What Bonuses Work Best?
What type of bonus does work to lift performance?  How should leaders use bonuses that really engage employees?

Surprising to us, studies show that giving bonus vouchers that can be re-directed to the recipient’s favorite charity actually results in happier and more engaged employees overall. Another kind of bonus that works is monetary gifts that are to be spent on other employees. Think about throwing a team party or catering a Friday picnic lunch or happy Hour. Bonus winners are heroes and their entire team gets to enjoy the benefits of their success.

Our Take
A good balance of individual and team rewards that align with the overall strategy and culture is a good place to start.  For some corporate cultures and performance environments, bonuses aimed at charities and team events can certainly play a role in increasing employee engagement levels.

Bonuses for Top Performers Caveat
Beware however to make sure that your top performers feel like their individual contribution is being fairly valued and rewarded.  To maintain high levels of employee engagement, your top performers must believe that if they contribute to the organization’s success, they will be recognized and that considering the value they bring to the organization, they are rewarded fairly.

As long as your reward and recognition systems are aligned with your strategy, are perceived as fair, and disproportionately reward your top performers in terms of results and behaviors, you will have the opportunity to creatively engage and motivate your top talent to perform at their peak.

To learn more about creating a high performance culture, download 2 Leadership Moves to Create a High Performing Culture

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Intuit

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Thoratec

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Hyperion

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Director of Global Recruiting

AKQA

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I have worked with other training companies and found it to be more of a seller/buyer relationship than one of matching the right expertise to our business issues. That’s what LSA does – ask the hard questions, listen, and understand our business needs. We receive the benefit of their expertise from assistance with personal development plans to enhancing team performance, to looking at enterprise-wide challenges. It’s all about helping our business succeed as we grow. Right now, LSA is providing great ideas, a fresh approach, and valuable guidance as we develop our management team and accelerate our client relationship management results.

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Director, Team Development

LSA’s approach and ability to bring the best resources to eBay has been a great asset. They really focus on helping us succeed in any way they can and are very flexible in meeting our management and talent needs.

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Learning & Development

ebay

Congratulations on your pro-activity in establishing this program and developing such an effective New Employee Orientation course.

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President and Chief Executive Office

Fujitsu

For our go to training outsourcing partner, LSA provides exactly what we want. As always, they deliver outstanding work!

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Director, Organizational Excellence & Development

Intuit

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Vice President, HR and IT

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HR Manager

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Mary Johnston
HR Manager, BU Radiology Informatics

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