By CHRISSIE COX, DR. JOSH DAVIS, ANNA TAVIS & DR. DAVID ROCK
The new world of work is making many companies have to rethink their employee reward practices. In many cases, organizations can no long provide a long-term home and must therefore find alternative sources of value to offer employees. For example, with either a creative set of benefits, or opportunities for faster growth. Traditional reward systems, especially those relying heavily on financial compensation, often fail to motivate the behaviors organizations hope to see, and actually turn out to demotivate when not administered properly. From a neuroscience perspective, core to these problems is the fact that reward and motivation are not the same. Rewards can be motivational in the right contexts, but simply offering a reward is not sufficient. However, building on the science of social motivation, it is possible to determine good methods for both predicting when rewards are not likely to motivate (or even demotivate), as well as what to do in order to make rewards appropriately motivating. By following the science of motivation, companies can more effectively rethink how they reward employees in a world where the whole company-employee model is being reshaped.