Monday, November 25, 2013

Management Tip of the Day: The Bonus Employees Really Want

  HBR Management Tip of the Day - Harvard Business Review

November 25, 2013

The Bonus Employees Really Want

Does giving employees extra money to spend on whatever they choose make for a happy workplace? Surprisingly, individual financial rewards can be detrimental to morale; jealousy and competition can arise, damaging team dynamics. Consider switching to a more altruistic program, in which you provide employees the same bonuses with one caveat: A portion must be spent on "prosocial" contributions that benefit others, like charities. At a company which gave employees charity vouchers, and encouraged them to contribute to a cause of their choice, people reported being more satisfied with their jobs and happier overall. Another organization asked employees to spend on each other: Some teams indulged in chocolate or wine; one team bought a piñata, which they gladly bashed together. Prosocial bonuses resulted in gifts that increased shared experiences—and teams that received them performed better than teams that received money to spend only on themselves.

Adapted from "The Bonus Employees Really Want, Even If They Don't Know It Yet," by Lalin Anik and Jordi Quoidbach.

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