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Reward results, not hours

Employee incentive programs aim to boost worker productivity. However, companies may be erring with their rewards initiatives by measuring this term the wrong way.

Employee incentive programs aim to boost worker productivity. However, companies may be erring with their rewards initiatives by measuring this term the wrong way.

Robert Pozen of Harvard Business School explained in a recent op-ed for The New York Times that firms should examine staff members' productivity by tracking results, not hours. When businesses reward workers for the hours they put in rather than the results, they could be incentivizing inefficiency, he writes.

However, Pozen asserts that companies need to free themselves from this "industrial age" mindset that considers working overtime and on the weekend a sign of commitment and dedication to the job at hand as well as the company.

"If employees need to stay late in order to curry favor with the boss, what motivation do they have to get work done during normal business hours?" Pozen writes. "After all, they can put in the requisite 'face time' whether they are surfing the internet or analyzing customer data."

Senior management can help shift company culture to a results-oriented one by having discussions with staff members to provide them with more autonomy as well as clear expectations.

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