SPHR Study Guide and Employee Motivation

The professional in a Human Resources exam and the senior professional in human resource exam will assess the candidates experience and knowledge in the field of HR. The questions presented on the exam will cover labor laws and regulations, employee compensation programs and employee risk management. You may be able to use your experience from working to answer some of the questions, but a lot of the questions will be complex and take United States labor history into account. Employee reward management and motivation is an often tested subject of the PHR and SPHR examinations. One of the goals of reward management is motivation. Your company’s reward system should include extrinsic and intrinsic rewards. Extrinsic rewards help you recruit and keep employees and may also help encourage additional effort. But in the long term, non financial rewards such as autonomy, the inherent satisfaction of the work and individual achievement, may be more important than pay. Though it is not a financial reward, recognition can be an important psychological award. Goals also motivate people. In fact, people clearly perform at a higher level when they are attempting to reach stretch goals and when their managers provide feedback.

Make your job evaluation schemes analytical, appropriate, comprehensive, transparent and nondiscriminatory (that is, they should meet the standard of equal pay for equal work). Job evaluation is distinct from role evaluation. A job is a discrete group of tasks, but a role includes both the behaviors and the results expected from the behaviors. Role analysis is complex and difficult, and may rely heavily on opinion and interpretation. Organizations establish pay structures and grade structures to communicate information about opportunities and compensation based on their analysis of jobs and roles. In addition to formal pay structures, many organizations also offer contingent pay, which makes it clear to employees what the organization really values and will pay to attain. Many organizations consider contingent pay a powerful motivator, but strong arguments exist against it.

Critics target the questionable motivational effect of contingent pay, the slippery definition of success and the fact that individuals respond differently to contingent pay. Given the evidence on both sides of the debate, no blanket answer covers the advisability of contingent pay. Given that its benefits are uncertain, most companies should consider relying more on non financial motivators. However, if your company decides to provide contingent pay, ensure that the standards are fair and equitable, and that the system allows people to influence their rewards by behaving differently or by developing new skills. The reward always should have a close relationship to achievement. Many of the criticisms of individual contingent pay also apply to team pay. In fact, many organizations have decided that the disadvantages of team pay outweigh its merits.

Non financial Rewards One of the most important non financial rewards is the opportunity to learn. While a job itself may be an important learning experience, organizations also offer separate specialized training programs that focus on skill development. Often, the availability of training is a major factor in an employee’s decision to stay with a job or to leave. Performance management can enhance your relationships with your employees, especially if managers use feedback and performance reviews to clarify what they want. The most important issue in performance management is getting the backing of upper level executives and ensuring that managers conduct the right kind of reviews at the right time.

Ensuring that managers have the performance management skills they need to make a review program succeed requires a fairly substantial investment in training. A reward system involves much more than simply paying what the market will bear. Rewards have important psychological and motivational dimensions that are not always intuitively obvious. Moreover, certain groups (such as directors and officers, or even expatriates) need specialized reward treatment. Reward system administration will often be the purview of the human resources staff, but actual decisions about who gets what rewards belong increasingly, and rightly, to line managers. These complexities suggest that reward management needs to be an organization-wide initiative, and that human resources staff members need to work closely with line managers to be sure that rewards align with the organization’s strategy and values.


Source by Jay Dannen

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