Incentives and Motivations Part 2

Incentivization is a surprisingly touchy subject. End of every fiscal gets employees grumbling on the topic of salary, raise and motivation. I must confess  I  am not oblivious of the resounding impact of necessities driving work and passion.Companies generally resort to ostentatious rewards mechanisms to motivate employees. The power of a bonus is not lost on anyone. But these rewards , imho, generally force the employee to limp from bonus to bonus to motivate him/herself.

Researching on this topic , albeit its a pretty old one that I had touched upon couple of years back,  I have come across a general acceptance in thought leaders and the blogosphere,that measurable rewards and incentives  are generally failing. Some articles can be found here, herehere and here .

Do take a look at this video http://www.ted.com/talks/dan_pink_on_motivation.html .A Universitity of  Florida IFAS Extension has go so far as to categorize the various motivators at workplace for various generations [ Small write up can be seen at this location ]. Classifying motivators and incentives under requirements for “Baby Boomers”, “Gen X”, and “Gen Y” and the new “Smart Mob-Digital Native” generation has been an interesting readup, the details of which I will share seperately.

Fundamental nature of deploying a rewards mechanisms is different for different audiences. A common strategy cannot be used for motivating “Internal Customers” and “External Customers”. Needs of an “Internal Customer” largely differ vis-a-vis an “External Customer”. Shifts in the work culture of people are forcing employers to radically alter the way they reward and motivate employees. Impact of technology , the internet , telepresence and cloud computing have fundamentally shifted the way people work. Access to information , that previously a privy of  “Knowledge Silos” , has changed the nature of work. Today the ability to  understand business, function in teams, lead a process change, co-ordinate knowledge sharing is also being measured along with the ability to churn code or solve problems.

Whereas enough has been said and done to understand how rewards and motivation can affect so called “white collar” employees I am yet to discover an study on alternative rewards/incentive plans for “blue collar” work. A direct translation of work to money is important for work in those categories. Bonuses, gifts, banners and titles seem to the most successful way of motivation in that work category.

I wish to understand the impact of different Incentive plans for blue collar employees on a case study. The example taken was something driven out of experience and in no way does represent the general nature of the work.

I have visited a  a location in Chennai two times for some random events.Its pretty far from where I stay . Lets take the name of the place as X. At a strategic location at X is a franchise of a popular chain of restaurants. The restaurant H offers free parking to all its customers. To continue with my work at X ,I  generally park at H and travel on Foot. Whilst I agree its generally unprofessional to do so , I am guilty and try not to do that often, I am yet to encounter any resistance against my actions and the security has a general  nonchalant attitude to Bike Parking.

I definitely perceive a loss of business for hotel H , lack of parking directly translates to loss of a customer at least in Chennai. I was wondering if the following incentive mechanisms will help them tide this menace.

Method 1 : Charge a flat parking rate collectible from all entering the hotel parking.

Pros : Increased Revenue to Hotel , Increased salaries to the Security to enforce this extra burden

Cons : General aggravation of Customers who would have to shell out parking charges in addition to food, The non customers would be happy shelling out a parking fee to avoid burden.

Method 2 : Charge a High Fee for Parking , and waive on production of a bill . A flavour of this is already in place of stores with surplus parking. The difference is that a portion of the default payments would be given to the security .

Pros : Prevention of NonCustomers parking in the premises, High return rate on parking.

Cons: Extra effort of the Security in co ordinating this effort. overheads and admin costs.

Method 3 :Incentivize the Security to discover fraudulent parking .

Pros : This method gives direct benefit to the Security Staff

Cons : The ambiguous nature of discovering fraud would lead to inconvenience to customers who would be exposed to “bright ideas” of the Security Staff in discovering fraud.

So what would be the best way forward for the Establishment

While the case study is not directly related to my research on motivation for Blue collar work , the solutions and view points offered will help analyse the right direction to progress

Looking forward for an engaging discussion in the comments

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