The Bonus Employees Really Want, Even If They Don’t Know It Yet

October 8, 2013 | Lalin Anik and Jordi Quoidbach | Harvard Busniess Review
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Ask your employees this: “How would you like to be rewarded for your efforts and performance, in addition to your fixed salary?” They will likely respond by asking for a cash reward in the form of a raise or bonus, which they can then spend on themselves. They might even convince you that spending this extra cash on the newest tablet on the market, or Daft Punk’s next album, will motivate them to work “harder, better, faster, stronger.”
Take what they say with a grain of salt.
Giving your employees money, and the freedom for them to spend it on whatever reward they choose, might sound like the recipe for a happy and more productive workplace. But evidence from an array of scientific studies says otherwise. Individual rewards—ranging from pay-per-performance to bonuses—have been shown to be detrimental to employee morale and productivity.