1. How effective are non-monetary incentives in relieving stress?
They are effective, indeed, especially when combined with monetary incentives. In fact, it not only relieves stress, but also is reported to increase employee morale and overall productivity.
In fact, several cost effective ways have been researched with proven effects to increase productivity and profits while reducing stress and improving workers well-Being: Method 1:
Offer employees clean, bottled, distilled water at several strategic locations (at time clock area, close to the break room, near restrooms). Water is the most essential nutrient to work at peak efficiency. Water regulates the body's temperature and maintains muscle tone. It carries nutrients and oxygen to every cell in the body. Dehydration causes the body to slow down and the ability to focus becomes more difficult. Coffee, teas and sodas are not substitutes for water. Encourage your workers to start their day by grabbing a bottle of water; allow it in the work area for daylong enjoyment. This will provide health benefits and reduce stress, which will improve their performance. (4) To learn more about water in the workplace go to: http://www.nrdc.org/media/pressReleases/030611a.asp
Western medical research has proven that in order to reduce the harmful effects that stress produces in individuals, they must set aside time for self-regeneration. This can be accomplished by practicing 10-15 minutes of tai chi or other exercise. This might be about adding an exercise room for employees. In fact, The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, (Volume 9, Page 747-754, October 2003) is only one of many reports showing the beneficial effects of tai chi for reducing stress, lowering blood pressure and relieving anxiety. Tai chi provides all the benefits of a rigorous aerobic workout but, because it is not strenuous, it carries no potentially harmful side effects. Tai chi requires no special skills, clothing or equipment, and can be done anywhere by all fitness levels. Tai chi involves a series of choreographed moves that flow together like a slow motion dance. They are done in a precise order to help facilitate relaxation and mental concentration. When tai chi is carried out at break times, the employee has more energy and a healthier outlook on life. Companies find that tai chi improves productivity and creates happier employees. (4)
A three-year study conducted by a large corporation showed that 60% of employees and managers were absent from work due to psychological problems such as stress. Most of this time off could be prevented with better health options. The study offered a number of solutions. They included things like getting a yearly examination from your primary care physician to prevent minor ailments from becoming major illnesses. Several complementary and alternative health care programs were given as other options to consider. Complementary and alternative medicine is defined as 'any medical or health care system, practices, or products that are not presently a part of conventional medicine.' Here are some suggestions of complementary and alternative programs: (Tai Chi Practice Breath Therapy Music Therapy Herbal Therapy Nutrition Therapy). (4) Example 2:
For example, new research from the Society for Human Resource Management (www.shrm.org) has found that a mix of nonmonetary and monetary awards is most effective at improving employee morale. For top performers, more than half of the 459 responding human resources professionals said money was a strong motivator. For "sandwich generation," employees those caring for children and aging parents benefits such as flexible scheduling and telecommuting were most appealing. The study concluded that while monetary rewards are perceived as having a larger impact, nonmonetary rewards are also useful. However, while the majority of respondents said that incentives are effective at...
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