Saturday, December 05, 2009

Rewarding Employee Engagement

The November/December 2009 edition of Ivy  Business Journal features The Four Intrinsic Rewards That Drive Employee Engagement by Kenneth W. Thomas.  Unlike many other discussions abour rewarding employees that are rooted in industrial age "carrot and stick" thinking, the author offers a far more realistic approach, and some great tips for taking action.

Thomas identifies the key rewards highly relevant, from my perspective, to knowledge workers in all generations:
  • meaningful work
  • control over how work is performed
  • sense of competence, pride and satisfaction in the work
  • sense of progress
Later in the article he further defines the rewards and what is required to implement/changes in an organizational context.

He concludes with a point that resonates a lot for me. Thomas advocates not using a traditional top down method for building the rewards, but a participatory one, where employees themselves analyze situations and suggest solutions.  This approach, the author claims, will foster the high levels of engagement and excitement that will enable the organization and its people to better adapt to the changes.

Given what I'm reading and experiencing with multiple generations at work I think Thomas provides an excellent framework and approach that will be useful in many different contexts.

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