Rewards and recognition programs


There are a assortment of ways in which companies can implement wages and acknowledgment plans. While most concentrate on touchable wagess, those that besides concentrate on the daily intangible wagess are far more likely to see increased degrees of employee productiveness, public presentation, and satisfaction. The intent of this paper is to analyse the wages and acknowledgment plans of five major Oklahma employers: Devon Energy, International Business Machines, INTEGRIS Health, Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center, and Tinker Air Force Base ( military forces ) . Analyzing these employers will supply a farther apprehension of how assorted wages and acknowledgment plans non merely act upon employee motive, but besides contribute to the overall success of the organisation.

What Precisely Are Wagess?

While most wagess are by and large linked to something touchable such as money, ware, and travel, acknowledgment refers to intangible activities such as a simple “ thank-you ” or chuck on the dorsum. On the other manus, awards are a combination of both in that they typically give acknowledgment through showing something touchable ( trophy, certification, plaque ) . Incentives, nevertheless, are most frequently thought of as planned wagess, that is, progress cognition that if you do a certain thing, you will be given a certain wages. Furthermore, while formal wagess tend to be planned, structured plans that are typically repeated over clip and go on for old ages, such as employee-of-the-month or years-of-service awards ; informal wagess are the more here-and-now, self-generated signifiers of sincere thanks and grasp for making good work.

In general, the most extremely valued signifiers of acknowledgment have shifted from the formal to the informal and self-generated, and from the touchable to the intangible and interpersonal. Motivation for today ‘s employees has become progressively personal and situational. When it comes to acknowledgment, it ‘s progressively true that one size no longer fits all. The most effectual informal wagess finally link to formal plans of some type and frailty versa. For illustration, a thank-you missive or public congratulations can be a important manner of admiting a individual ‘s attempts and accomplishments, but if it is the lone signifier of acknowledgment a director uses, it will shortly lose effectivity.

There are a assortment of factors that determine how directors allocate wagess within their organisations. Harmonizing to Freedman and Montanari ( 1980 ) , environmental, organisational, managerial, and subsidiary variable used to find such determinations play a cardinal function in employee behaviour and organisational effectivity. While most environmental ( e.g. general economic conditions, the labour market, rising prices, etc ) and organisational variables ( organisational size, industry type, features of bing wage and wages system, etc. ) are out of directions control, direction does hold the power to act upon certain managerial and low-level variables ( e.g. perceptual experiences of the organisation ‘s ends and standards, beliefs about employee motive, sum of duty, etc. ) . Directors who fail to take such variables under consideration may develop a skewed perceptual experience of a peculiar employee ‘s public presentation. If wagess are contingent on these perceptual experiences, the adequateness and equity of full wages system come into inquiry. Likewise, a quandary arises when reward systems ( profit bundles ) that were one time effectual in pulling top endowment are now perceived by tenured employees as entitlements. “ Reward systems become entitlement systems when they lose their relationship to public presentation. A sense of entitlement is created when people are rewarded automatically and on a regular basis for non making anything particular. They grow to anticipate their awards and frequently desire even more. People appreciate surprises and benefits, but when they are noncontingent, people come to believe of them as their right ” ( Wilson, 2003, p.350 ) .


For Devon Energy, an effectual wages and acknowledgment system has been a cardinal ingredient to the company ‘s growing and success. Devon is an Oklahoma City-based independent energy company engaged in natural gas and oil geographic expedition. The company is ranked among FORTUNE magazine ‘s Most Admired Companies and is the highest graded oil and gas company listed on FORTUNE ‘s “ 100 Best Companies to Work for ” list. Devon besides was named the best oil and gas company to work for in Calgary by Calgary Inc magazine. Devon ‘s central office are in Oklahoma City, and the company employs more than 5,000 people. While the company strives to prolong a little company feel, the civilization empowers employees to convey forth new and advanced thoughts ( http// : ) .

Presently, Devon has a assortment of inducements in topographic point to pull the country ‘s top endowment. For illustration, the company offers assorted touchable inducements to include medical, dental, and vision programs every bit good as short-run disablement insurance and long-run disablement coverage. Furthermore, the company offers a assortment of life insurance policies to include basic, voluntary, concern travel, and inadvertent decease or taking apart ( AD & A ; D ) insurance. Finally, Devon offers retiree medical insurance to measure up appliers and an employee aid plan to those fighting with personal/family issues. In add-on to wellness and life insurance benefits, Devon offers a assortment of intangible inducements or lifestyle benefits. For illustration, OKC employees can take advantage of an alternate work agenda where they can work excess hours throughout the hebdomad and be compensated a full Friday every other hebdomad. Not merely does the company offer this inducement to back a healthy work/life balance, but besides offers a low cost Back-up Child and Elder Care Program, generous holiday, vacations, and sick and personal leave every bit good. Finally, Devon offers a assortment of attractive nest eggs programs to include 401 ( K ) inducement nest eggs programs where parts are matched by the company based on the employee ‘s old ages of service, a flexible disbursement history, and a assortment of larning chances. Extra benefits include: $ 3,000 employee referral fillip, Education gift matching and voluntary grant plan, free parking/subsidized transit, depending on work location, tuition reimbursement, free grippe shots/health showings, free one-year mammogram showings, investing instruction meetings, assorted price reductions for merchandises and local attractive forces, concern insouciant frock ; insouciant Fridays, community voluntary chances, gym rank price reductions, corporate athleticss squads, and company picnics/Christmas parties ( http// : ) .

Since the company realizes people are their strongest plus, each employee is held to high outlooks and is measured against a set of behavioural properties to guarantee the right people are in topographic point to travel the company frontward and assist construct on the company ‘s success ( http// : ) . Therefore, the company ensures each employee feels challenged, rewarded and valued through offering a assortment of touchable wagess to include: an one-year fillip based on single and company public presentation, a competitory wage with one-year virtue additions, and other long-run inducements. Harmonizing to Amanda Streitmatter, former comptroller for Devon Energy, the company besides rewards employees through delegating particular undertakings to exceed performing artists. However, Stewart, Applebaum, Beer, Lebby, Amabile, McAdams, et Al. ( 1993 ) suggest that wagess merely guarantee “ impermanent conformity ” . To forestall wagess from going counterproductive and making a sense entitlement, it is necessary for companies such as Devon to guarantee wage is linked to public presentation. For illustration, employees who are made a portion of the determination devising procedure and are free to show advanced thoughts without fright of requital or occupation loss are more likely to associate single fillips to single parts and understand how their single parts relate to the company ‘s overall public presentation. “ Without paying for public presentation, an organisation will lose its best people. Yet by paying for public presentation, the company runs the danger of promoting self-interest alternatively of organisational committedness ” ( p.39 ) .

For case, Amanda believes that most Devon employees expect a fillip of some sum. While the per centum given is based upon public presentation, most employees believe seem to believe that they will still have some kind of fillip even if they are non leading performing artists. However, if the fillips were taken off, Amanda believes public presentation would decidedly drop. Nohria, Groysberg, & A ; Lee ( 2008 ) suggest revamping the current wages and acknowledgment plan using the four thrusts of employee motive could increase productiveness and public presentation and cut down employees ‘ sense of entitlement. For illustration, the revamped plan could break address an employee ‘s thrust to get through efficaciously dividing high and low performing artists, associating wagess to public presentation, and giving top performing artists advancement chances. Additionally, the company could concentrate on advancing a civilization that fosters teamwork, candor, and chumminess to carry through the thrust to bond ; engage in effectual occupation design to carry through an employee ‘s thrust to grok, and implement public presentation direction processes that are just and crystalline satisfy the thrust to support.


INTEGRIS Health is another major employer whose wages and acknowledgment plan earned the company top awards. OKCBiz late announced the 30 Oklahoma companies selected as top finalists for the 2009 Best Places to Work in Oklahoma plan. This one-year enterprise identifies and awards Oklahoma ‘s best employers. We ‘re happy to inform you that for the 4th twelvemonth in a row, INTEGRIS Health made the list. OKCBiz Associate Publisher Jeffri-Lynn Dyer says, “ The Best Topographic points to Work competition motivates local companies to endeavor for workplace excellence and recognizes those that have achieved it ”

Presently, INTEGRIS Health offers many of the same benefits as Devon. For illustration, the company offers a assortment of wellness, life and disablement insurance every bit good as a matched retirement nest eggs program. Additionally, the company offers eligible employees an attractive pension and paid clip off. Furthermore, the company offers an on-site metropolitan kid attention and fittingness centre every bit good as a battalion of calling development chances to include: go oning instruction classs, tuition aid and instruction loan plans, acceptance aid, internships and externships, and several scholarship chances. Additionally, the company provides flexible programming options and inducements for working darks, eventides, vacations and weekends. To retain the most dedicated nursing endowment, the company has implemented a Nurse Retention Initiative concentrating on four cardinal countries: staffing and programming, compensation and benefits, work environment and acknowledgment, and wagess. In exchange for a biennial work committedness, the plan offers staff engagement in displacement assignments, pecuniary inducements and national enfranchisement and instruction assistance.. ” In make up one’s minding on occupations, a company ‘s benefits are frequently important factors. On the occupation, nevertheless, such benefits do little to actuate employees to execute at higher degrees over the long term ” ( hypertext transfer protocol: // ) .

Harmonizing to Loree McMahan, corporate enlisting specializer for INTEGRIS Health, the company ‘s managers/supervisors know the value of their nurses and keeping is high on their radio detection and ranging. While money is of import to employees, research shows that what truly motivates them to execute at higher degrees is the thoughtful, personal sort of acknowledgment that signifies true grasp for a occupation good done ( Nelson, 2005 ) . With budgetary restraints the company knows it is of import to admit every positive action with a congratulations of “ Good Occupation! “ , or a remark to allow them cognize you, as a director, heard of the fantastic occupation they did, or the excess stat mi they went with a “ I heard you went out of your manner to ( whatever they did ) ‘ . It is besides of import for the company ‘s direction to be available to nursing staff. Team powwows or meetings are utilized as a clip we portion, ( in forepart of the squad ) , all the excess attempts that occur and who is traveling above and beyond the call of responsibility. The company ‘s nursing leading makes it a point to, in the really least, acknowledge the nurses and allow them cognize their presence is valued by stating every bit simple as “ good forenoon ” or “ how are you? ” Although the company does non give pecuniary wagess to actuate, Loree stated that direction frequently buys an single nurse a dad, or may convey in doughnuts or a group basket of dainties. Furthermore, directing out an electronic mail to everyone allowing them cognize what is traveling on for the twenty-four hours, the hebdomad or the approaching month with quotation marks of inspiration with a reminder they are valued is something little but apparently really effectual that can be done. The company besides sets up reminders of when everyone ‘s birthday is so they make certain to convey in balloons, send a card to their place or post a circular to allow everyone cognize. All director ‘s have entree to obtain and give away ‘heart vaulting horses ‘ to those persons caught making something great, assisting person as a nice gesture, give waies in the hallway although they are in a haste and a assortment of many other grounds. The ‘heart vaulting horses ‘ can be used in our cafeterias, the gift store or our pharmaceutics. All nursing leading ( above the supervisory degree ) are encouraged to larn the staff ‘s names and utilize their name when speaking with them.

Harmonizing to Finney ( 2008 ) , employers should non concentrate on stating their employees what to make, but inspire them with why they should make it and connect day-to-day undertakings to the “ large image ” of the organisation. At INTEGRIS wellness, it is the director ‘s occupation to do certain their squad ‘s staff is on board with the values and mission of INTEGRIS Health. It is besides their occupation to do certain everyone has entree to newssheets and Q & A ; A ‘s that are published to allow employees cognize what is on the skyline, or of any newsworthy points. Each director spends ‘one on one ‘ clip constructing a professional profile with each employee ( nurse or non ) to do certain they both know what is expected, what the single ends and challenges are, what career way the employees would wish to follow and what precisely needs to go on in order to make each – at least on a quarterly footing officially, and informally more often. Each nurse is encouraged to go on their instruction, voluntary in the community, fall in internal commissions on procedure betterment, keeping, enlisting, etc. With the activities listed supra and the inflow of information, each nurse should be knowing and to the full understand the ‘big image ‘ . Managers/supervisors are besides encouraged to do certain nurses are given clip to travel to our executive Sessionss called “ Employee Forums ” where the executive who is talking gives an INTEGRIS Health update on statistics, alterations happening, and future occurrences.


IBM is the universe ‘s largest information engineering company and employs about 1330 throughout Oklahoma ( Davis, 2006 ) . The company believes that employee their employee wages and acknowledgment has become their individual largest investing and has revamped its Entire Rewards Program to retain and actuate the companies hi-tech employees. Concentrating on the nucleus facets of the plan ( compensation, benefits, work-life, public presentation and acknowledgment, and development/career chances ) has helped the organisation alteration its civilization to better compete for IT endowment in the twenty-first century.

Presently, IBM offers benefits such as hard currency compensation to include public presentation fillips, committees, awards, etc. The company besides offers the criterion medical, dental, and vision benefits for employees ( even those who are same sex twosomes ) . Finally, the company promotes work/life balance through offering generous holiday, vacations, and flexible work agendas. Additionally, the company offers illness and accident income programs, Long-term disablement programs, group life insurance, travel accident insurance, and long-run attention insurance. Eligible employees may besides be entitled to the company ‘s 401 ( K ) pension plan, purchase/community dealingss plan, a assortment of site offerings ( fittingness centres, educational classs, award plans and calling planning centres ) , and an IBM nine which offers a assortment of sponsored trips, categories and plans. Furthermore, IBM ‘s Employees Stock Purchase Plan ( ESPP ) offers eligible employees the chance to put in IBM stock at a 5 % price reduction off the market monetary value on the day of the month of purchase, each wage period ( http: // ) . Harmonizing to Nelson ( 2005 ) , doing employees proprietors of the company is one of the most powerful signifiers of acknowledgment. In fact, “ 85 per centum rank stock options as a positive inducement and companies that have employee stock ownership programs grow three to four times faster than those who do non ” ( p.324 ) .

IBM intertwines its value system with its wagess system and believes their shared values act upon how determinations are made and people work together. Harmonizing to Nelson ( 2005 ) , the best organisations find ways to give their employees the clip, support, and tools they need to excite originative thought. Since IBM believes that the expertness of their work force is every bit critical to their success as the effectivity of their engineering, the company invests more than US $ 750 million yearly to assist do certain that IBM employees have leading-edge accomplishments and ongoing development chances.

Peoples development is about enabling the capableness of our employees, directors and squads to drive concern public presentation. It focuses on supplying our work force with the tools, resources and counsel needed to broaden our cognition base and develop accomplishments most valued by our industry. It besides allows employees the chance for calling patterned advance. ” – Randy MacDonald, IBM senior frailty president of Human Resources.

IBM offers a assortment of calling development programs via web sites and tools. For illustration, the company offers single development programs, occupation function and proficient preparation, academic larning aid plans, and Learning @ IBM Explorer ( internet e-learning faculties ) . Additionally, the company offers tuition refund of up to 100 % for eligible employees every bit good as an educational leave of absence ( http: // ) .Bartol & A ; Srivastava ( 2002 ) suggest that while wagess contingent on cognition sharing will hold a positive consequence on the extent of cognition that persons contribute ; merit wage programs that include assessment and expressed acknowledgment of cognition sharing will hold a positive consequence on extent to which persons portion cognition within and across squads and work units.

Harmonizing to Jeryy Dziuk, former proficient support director for IBM, cognition sharing is many times a constituent of person ‘s public presentation rating at IBM since teaming is paramount to the success ofmanygroups/IBM divisions.Although Jerry was unable to unwrap confidential compensation information the company, he did observe thatIBMdoes take knowledgesharing into accountin public presentation reappraisals. The rating received so affects a person’sfuture publicities, compensation and portions of company bonuses.Technical sharing in the signifier of proficient paperss is crucialin proficient support divisions. These paperss may be shared with clients and besides internally.Technical mentoring and trainingof other squad members is really important.Knowledge sharing crosses legion geographic boundaries. Since IBM isa multi-national company squad members may be sharing information with people in India, Ireland, Turkey and Israel. As a proficient support director, Jerry reviewed the figure of technicaldocuments which were created by my squad members for rating intents. He besides reviewed how muchthey mentored and assistedcurrent squad members and squads across Worldwide support.Employees who outperformed and contributed most to their squad and IBM ‘s concern success were rewarded with a Top Contributor Award.

Furthermore, Jerry mentioned that IBM separates its employees into assorted sets based on occupation functions and knowledge sharing demands vary by division. For illustration, longer tenured IBM employees are expected to hold a higher comparative part in cognition sharing vs. newer employees in lower sets. However, this could go a hereafter job for IBM as the longer tenured employees ( baby boomers ) filter out and less seasoned employees ( Gen X/Y ) are charged with shuting the accomplishment spread and “ running the show ” . As a consequence, approaching alterations in work force demographics means wages and acknowledgment plans may necessitate to be re-assessed. For illustration, Tulgan ( 2009 ) suggests employers should “ halt paying them and get down purchasing their consequences, one by one ” ( p.71 ) . The thought is that the more consequences are traded for wagess ; the more dependable public presentation will be and the existent public presentation drivers for younger coevalss are short term particular wagess exchanged for short term above-and-beyond performing artists ( p.73 ) . However, IBM ‘s committedness to people development sets them apart from other employers. From Web applications to wise mans to planetary e-learning to classroom preparation, IBM ‘s acquisition environment enables employees to take charge of their accomplishments and cognition from twenty-four hours one, authorising them to spread out their expertness throughout their calling ( http: // ) .

Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center

The Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center employs located at Tinker Air Force Base has more than 13,000 civilian employees and offers a assortment of federal employment benefits. This organisation utilizes both pecuniary and honorary wages systems to acknowledge single and group public presentation. Most directors have really small liberty in orienting the monetary/non pecuniary wages system as most awards have standards that must be met. However, some awards are at direction ‘s discretion if they are issued with some degree of an blessing required. The OCALC offers pecuniary wagess such as Performance awards, Special Act or Special Service, Notable Achievement Award, and Time-Off Award. However, non-monetary awards include Presidential Awards, Department of Defense awards, Air Force Awards, Length of Service Pins, and Campaign and Service awards. While the OCALC wages system has experienced minor alterations over clip and added a twosome of expanded awards, most of the alterations have been administrative. For direction, the wages system allows them to acknowledge their outstanding performing artists and honor them for their work. For the employees it can let them to be recognized for the parts and attempt they provide. The organisation besides promotes the low cost of life as a benefit of working the OKC country and generous holiday clip ( which increases with old ages of service ) , paid vacations, and ill leave. Additionally, the organisation offers low cost wellness and life insurance every bit good as the Federal Employees Retirement System ( FERS ) , Thrift Savings Plan ( TSP ) , and Flexible Spending Account ( FSA ) . Finally, the organisation offers engagement in the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program ( FLTCIP ) , Fit 4 Life Program, and entree to Tinker Fitness Centers, Child Development Centers, on site golf class, out-of-door diversion installations, and bowling centre ( http: // )

However, for authorities workers, the usage of pecuniary wagess is constrained by federal ordinances. “ When basic compensation is equal, it takes something excess to actuate people to greater public presentation ” ( Nelson, 2005, p.99 ) . Therefore, directors must happen alternate ways to honor employees and increase motive and morale. Harmonizing to Hijazi, Anwar, & A ; Mehboob ( 2007 ) , non-monetary wagess are every bit of import as pecuniary wagess. For illustration, positive acknowledgment from direction and colleagues has been found to increase motive and consequence in higher degrees of occupation public presentation merely every bit efficaciously as pecuniary acknowledgment. Additionally, originative usage of individualized non-monetary wagess reinforces positive behaviours and improves employee keeping and public presentation. Furthermore, there is a clear positive nexus between employee motive and efficiency. When employees are motivated to accomplish the highest-level public presentation of which they are capable, the consequence is greater creativeness, productiveness, and discretional attempt, which in bend leads to improved organisational public presentation.

The phrase “ it literally takes an act of Congress to fire a civilian employee ” has created the perceptual experience that occupation security is all excessively unafraid for federal authorities employees. Many of these workers come to work to plug in and plug out. As long a steady wage cheque is deposited twice a month, the inducement to travel above and beyond is hibernating. Jansen & A ; Von Glinow ( 1985 ) contend that “ The wages system perspective observes that organisational histrions ‘seek information refering what activities are rewarded, and so seek to make ( or at least make-believe to make ) those things frequently to the practical exclusion of activities non rewarded-Kerr, 1975, p.769 ” . Furthermore, Kerr ( 1975 ) argues that ethical ambivalency probably to ensue from wages systems that usually shape and maintain behaviours that they are seeking to deter while penalizing or disregarding coveted behaviours.

Tinker AFB

Tinker AFB is the largest individual site employer in the province of Oklahoma. The base employs about 26,000 of which 13,000 are active responsibility. While the Air Force can non give members pecuniary acknowledgment for superior public presentation, they reward and acknowledgment system is possibly the most effectual system within all 5 examined OKC examined employers. “ Human existences need to be recognized and rewarded for particular attempts. You do n’t even hold to give them much. What they want is touchable cogent evidence that you truly care about the occupation they do. The wages is truly merely a symbol of that ” ( Nelson, 2005, p.98 ) . In add-on to a unafraid bi-monthly wage cheque, the Air Force besides grants members a revenue enhancement free basic allowance for lodging ( BAH ) and basic allowance for nutriment. Additionally, members are eligible to have a assortment of particular and incentive wages to include: Reenlistment Bonuss, Initial Enlistment Bonuses ( IEB ) , Continuation Bonuses, Accession Bonuses, Proficiency Pays, calling inducement wages, deployment wages, risky responsibility wages, etc. Furthermore, Airmen may have tax-free wage when executing responsibilities in designated combat zones. The armed forces will even pay a member $ 250 revenue enhancement free each month that they are separated from their military partner and accommodates reimbursement disbursals associated with official travel ( Air Force Facts and Benefits Sheet 2009 ) .

Furthermore, the Air Force allows members to lend to a Uniformed Service Savings Deposit Program, Thrift Savings Plan ( TSP ) , and Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program. The Air Force besides offers free medical and dental insurance to all active responsibility forces and provides 30 yearss of paid one-year leave in concurrence with all federal vacations. However, one of the most attractive inducements of a military calling is the retirement system that provides a monthly retirement income for those who serve a lower limit of 20 old ages. While many civilian employees must lend monetarily to their retirement, an Air Force member ‘s retirement is provided based entirely on your honest service. Other benefits include limitless entree to the Base Exchange and commissary, Base Services, Career Broadening Opportunities, Child Care/Youth Programs, and Commissioning Opportunities. Furthermore, the Air Force offers a assortment of instruction benefits to include the Montgomery GI Bill ( MGIB ) , Tuition Assistance, and assorted Scholarships. Additionally, members are entitled to Family Support Centers ( FSC ) , the IDEA Program, Legal Assistance, Promotion Opportunity, Space Available Travel, VA Home Loans, Vocational Training Opportunity, and Programs for documented personal troubles ( Air Force Facts and Benefits Sheet 2009 ) .

While military benefits come unprecedented, it seems as though for some, these inducements mean nil without acknowledgment. The affects of non-monetary wagess seems to be the drive force behind who stay and who goes. Chandler and Richardson ( 2008 ) suggest that positive support trumps negative unfavorable judgment every clip and that there is nil more motivation than a healthy dosage of reassurance. “ By supplying a wages and clearly pass oning its public presentation based eventuality, a supervisor non merely expresses satisfaction with the old degree of public presentation, but besides communicates future public presentation degree outlooks ” ( Korukonda & A ; Hunt,1989, p.306 ) .Even Napoleon noted that “ the most astonishing thing I have learned about war is that work forces will decease for threads ” ( p.110 ) . Since supervisors will finally acquire what they reward, sometimes verbal and written wagess, instead than fiscal fillips and awards, are the 1s that go the farthest in animating a individual to make more.

The Air Force strives to develop members throughout their callings into function theoretical accounts that instill the Air Force nucleus values into the Airmen they lead. Harmonizing to Connors, Smith, and Hickman ( 2004 ) , organisations should concentrate on making function theoretical accounts ( @ each degree of the organisation ) . For illustration, they recommend this be done through puting the illustration, praising those who follow, and honoring public presentation deemed “ above the line ” . Those whose public presentation is deemed “ above the line ” should so be declared as the new answerability function theoretical accounts.


While wages and acknowledgment systems were found to change among the examined companies,