What Do Practitioners Say About Monetary Incentive?

1188 words - 5 pages

When people are asked what they think about money, most people will response by using these sentences, "money is everything" or "Money can subdue even gods". As we can see, it can not be denied that money is so important for people. Therefore, Patton (1999) claims that monetary incentive is the best way to motivate employees to do their jobs better. He argues that employees will stop working if they were not offered a paycheck. It is ridiculous to think money can not motivate employees.However, although money is important for people, it does not mean that giving employees financial incentives can guarantee them work better (Spitzer, 1996; Kohn, 1998; Gardiner, 2003; Romano, 2003). Gardiner (2003) argues "we think other people are more mercenary than they really are". Of course, people like money, but money will not be effective if employees' other need is ignored. Kohn (1998) states the correlation between money and performance is not strong. Using money to incentive employees has some problems. Firstly, money does not have a "staying power". Employees will forget this reward in two weeks. Furthermore, financial rewards cost companies a lot of money. Maintaining the same impact on employees requires increasing monetary rewards. Spitzer (1996) even argues that there is no correlation between money and high quality performance. Money only can increase the quantity of performance at simple tasks. Cieri and Kramar (2003, p.475) claim "most jobs have no physical output". Therefore, whether the performance of employees' is good or not can not only be scaled by the quantity of output.What do researches say about monetary incentive?Some researches suggest that there is a positive correlation between monetary incentive and employees' performance. The research conducted by Stajkovic and Luthans (2001) shows that systematic monetary incentive has a more powerful impact on employees' performance than the routine pay, and there is a strong correlation between money and performance. Locke (cited in Cieri, 2003, p.475) found monetary incentives can rise thirty percent of productivity.However, according to Kohn (1998), a systematical analysis of those researches indicates that those positive correlations tend to be limited into these three points. Firstly, financial incentive only can improve employees performance in short term. Secondly, the effect is positive only when the subjects are given simply tasks. Thirdly, financial incentive only can make people do things faster.The limitation of monetary incentive seems to be not only those three points. The research conducted by Matsumura (2003) shows that monetary incentive will be effective in the following three cases only: high productivity, low intrinsic motivation and low uncertainty of output. Otherwise, if the situation is converse, monetary incentive does not tend to be effective. Furthermore, the effectiveness of monetary incentive even depends on the people. In Chiu, Luk & Tang (2002)'s survey,...

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