Goal setting is a key to achieving success in any endeavor. It is very complex to know where one is going if one does not know where to go. Everyone needs goals to be enthused, grow or increase performance especially with strong goals. Setting goals for example helps employees know where they need to go and how they should go about getting there. It also helps employees manage themselves. Employees should set goals that are SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely. Goals represent expectations and if employees have higher expectations then employees will have improved performance as long as employees achieve their goals. Most of the time, what employees need is motivation, meaning, and purpose in their jobs and if employees set worthwhile goals, they will find life but work more specifically more fulfilling and exciting. Once there is an aim, there is purpose and fulfilling that purpose increases performance as there is realization of achieving success. REWARD VS. RECOGNITION
While businesses are looking to get more from their employees, employees are also looking to get more from them. Through employee reward and recognition programs, employers can motivate employees to change work habits and key behaviors to increase the business’ profit. Employee reward system refers to programs set up by companies to reward performance and motivate employees on group or individual levels. They tend to be separate from employee salary but are some form of monetary rewards. Previously reward systems were considered the domain of large companies and businesses, but now even small businesses are offering them to lure top employees in a competitive job market or to simply increase employee job performance. Although often combined with employee recognition programs, reward programs have a slightly different purpose. Recognition programs do not tend to be monetary in nature even if they cost the company. Recognition according to Sue Glasscock and Kimberly Gram in Productivity Today elicits a psychological benefit whereas reward elicits a financial benefit. The difference is important as many small businesses and companies can use recognition programs to motivate employees while keeping costs low. MERIT VS. PERFORMANCE REWARDS
Financial rewards given on regular bases include bonuses, gain-sharing, and so on and are tied to an employee’s accomplishments and are distanced from salary. The reward does not emphasize competency but rather excellence or achievement. They are separate from merit pay increases because they are usually an increase due to inflation with some additional percentages for competent employees. They are not particularly motivating, because the distinction between a good and an average employee is very minimal. And most of all in a small business, team work is a crucial part of an employee’s job, but merit rewards only take into account the performance of an individual not a group. DESIGNING A REWARD PROGRAM
In order to increase productivity, a company should identity goals to be reached, and identity performance and behaviors that can contribute to the reward system. It is very important to have specific guidelines as too often employers reward behaviors or achievements that fail to further company goals or sabotage them. The employer should be specific in their guidelines for example if they want quantity or quality then that should be clarified. Likely, performance measures of a reward program should be linked to an overall business strategy such as improved customer satisfaction, improved customer service, or reduced losses. TYPES OF REWARD PROGRAMS
There are three types of reward programs. One program is known as variable pay in which a portion of an employees pay is considered at risk. It can be tied to employee performance, company or business unit performance. Goals should be within reach and employees should stretch to reach them. Bonuses are a part of this program that have...