Reward Systems

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Reward Management (RM) has been defined as the distribution of monetary and non-monetary rewards to employees in an effort to align the interests of the employees, the organisation, and its shareholders (O'Neil, 1998). In addition O'Neil (1998) also suggests that a RM system can serve the purpose of attracting prospective job applicants, retaining valuable employees, motivating employees, ensuring legal requirements relating to direct and indirect rewards are not violated, assisting the company in achieving human resource and business objectives, and ultimately assisting the organisation in obtaining a competitive advantage. Various conflicts in the RM system can affect the benefits that can be obtained. It has been argued that performance management systems only provide superficial motivations and have little effect on underlying behaviours and attitudes. Although the RM system can have some limitations, there is strong argument for the benefits, and logic also deems it as a credible strategy to assist in improving employee performance. The implementation and application of RM within the subject organisation has provided many opportunities for increased performance. Limitations and inequities have been recognised in the system employed, mainly due to the lack of assessment and changes to the system in order to align it with organisational objectives.

Reward Management theory
Reward management involves defining, facilitating, and encouraging performance. The positive effects a successful RM system can provide to employee performance and in turn organisational success and competitive advantage are clear. This appeal has driven many organisations to take up RM as part of their performance management stratagem.

The RM system falls into the broader process of the performance management model within the organisation, as stated by Clark (as cited in Human Resource Management, 2000). This involves the continual process of setting performance objectives, measuring outcomes, providing feedback on the results, providing rewards which are linked to desired outcomes and finally evaluating and making amendments to objectives and activities of the system. When developing an effective RM procedure as part of organisational strategy many considerations must be addressed. O'Neil (1998) suggests the following key methods of linking pay to performance; ascertain the value of the job, setting the pay structure of the job as well as grouping jobs into various levels and setting individual wages, creating a link with performance, and the communication and administration of the system. Similarly, Cascio (1991) suggests that the combination of the following five requirements along with a performance based pay system can also have a very significant impact on performance. The first of these is skill variety, where a wide variety of tasks or procedures is available to the employee. Next is task identity, where the employee can clearly identify the output of a task as a product of their efforts. This is followed by task significance, where the work is recognised as important and meaningful. After this comes autonomy, where the employees have a major say in work planning and execution. The final requirement is feedback, where employees receive constructive advice or criticism on their performance. The rewards offered can be extrinsic such as wages, incentives and bonuses, or intrinsic such as job satisfaction, an internal feeling of worth and a sense of well being on the job.

O'Neil (1998) suggests six minimal criteria for the design of a performance based pay system. The first of these criteria is that the reward system should be self-funding, that is, the performance increases should as a minimum offset the cost of the rewards provided. The second criterion is that the distribution of the rewards must be consistent, fair and justifiable. In addition reward plans must be transparent and clearly communicated. The third...
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