Summary of Recognizing and Rewarding Employees

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  • Applicable


Author R. Brayton Bowen takes a thoughtful approach to understanding the new generation of employees who seem to need rewards and recognition to spur their motivation. He attributes their incentive-based work ethic to workplace changes, such as downsizing and a decline in loyalty, which has tainted the work environment. Bowen proposes a variety of recognition systems, including intrinsic and extrinsic rewards, and he outlines strategies for using recognition to empower the whole person. His in-depth ideas about building motivation through recognition and rewards will appeal to anyone who manages other people, from supervisors to top executives, though he cautions that true motivation can’t be bought, but must come from genuine achievement and internal drive. Since Bowen provides a thoughtful context for the workings of motivational strategies, as well offering some hands-on tactics, getAbstract recommends this book to managers and human resource professionals at all levels.

About the Author

R. Brayton Bowen is a senior consultant and president of The Howland Group. He served as a senior executive at Fortune 500 companies, including Federated Department Stores and Capital Holding Corporation (now AEGON). He has worked in corporations or in consulting for more than 25 years, and is a specialist in change management. His current focus is on workplace issues, including dealing with anger. His clients include Baxter Healthcare, Borg Warner, GTE, Revlon and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. He has written numerous articles on management, including work that has appeared in Industry Week, Association Management and At Work.



The Changing Work Environment

To recognize and reward employees appropriately, you need to consider the new work environment. Due to mergers and acquisitions, corporate downsizing and employment-at-will policies, job permanence and workplace loyalty are outdated concepts. Increasingly, workers are employed on a part-time or temporary basis. Even full-time employees must continually prove their value. To motivate these workers into caring about higher productivity - much less providing it - managers need to use a deliberate mix of reward and recognition.

Given the uncertainty surrounding continued employment, workers now want more than money. Today’s employees want:

  • Work that builds technical, professional knowledge, and thus boosts their marketability.
  • Work that’s interesting, challenging, fun and fulfilling.
  • Flexible work environments so they can lead full personal lives.
  • Rewards, such as a piece of the action, that recognize both solo and team contributions.
  • Personal endorsements that contribute to their self esteem and market value.

Managers need to recognize the diversity of the workforce, so they can adapt...

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