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Some businesses failing to properly reward performance

Many companies have let their bonus programs stray from giving awards to top performers.

The idea behind bonuses and rewards is very clear: Employees should have something to work toward, an incentive to let them know in certain terms that the things they do for the company are appreciated and as long as their contributions remain superlative, they will have a place there. When there is no balance to the processes, however, programs can quickly lose their appeal. If workers don't feel their contributions are being accurately reflected in the awards handed out, the motivational aspect goes out the window, followed by the long-term loyalty encouragement. It's time for companies to get back on track.

Survey says rewards don't reflect talent
According to Employee Benefits, a Towers Watson survey circulated among U.K. organizations found that among respondents, rewards and performance have gone out of sync. The source noted that not only are poor performers sometimes scooping the same motivational benefits as their capable coworkers, the programs aren't even well explained. According to the survey, more than half of surveyed professionals were unsatisfied with the way their employers described the employee rewards program structures. This is an impediment for any organization, as a lack of understanding undercuts the entire idea of working toward attainable and enticing goals.

The main problem with rewards not actually going to the top performers is the message it sends to those leading employees. According to the source, there's a diminished ability to give recognition to workers who are setting the pace when additional money is being pumped into bonuses not aligned with actual performance. If organizations want to expand salaries across the board, that is a separate discussion. However, presenting an allotment as a reward but not actually doling it out along performance lines sends a confusing message to the workforce at large, one that it may make it difficult to rouse any excitement about internal competition.

Employee recognition is badly needed
Workers all around the world are feeling they are not appreciated, as the American Psychological Association found that a mere 51 percent of American professionals currently think their contributions are valued. In this environment, it could be harmful for organizations to lose incentives they could offer the workforce. There is already a spreading supposition that those who deserve due rewards are not getting them. More than half of the APA's respondents stated their employers are equitable in the delivery of bonuses. This distrust could continue to spread unless leaders take concrete steps to make awards more logical and transparent.

Want to learn more facts about employee recognition? Download our white paper.

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