Types of Incentives
Organizations expecting employees to eliminate waste need to adopt a two-pronged approach to educating the workforce. One must consider what constitutes waste and establish a culture of thrift, productivity, and openness, where everyone takes the initiative to control waste without waiting for orders and points out deficiencies that require correction. Both these approaches require reinforcements through incentives.
Monetary rewards for elimination of waste provide a vested interest for employees to eliminate waste. The most common forms of monetary incentives include payment of bonus, either on an individual or group basis, for those who eliminate waste beyond a certain threshold. Other forms of monetary incentives include gifts or gift coupons.
Money, however, need not motivate everyone. The various behavioral theories of management point to other motivations such as the need for recognition, the need for achievement, and similar motivations, all of which provide the basis for employee waste reduction incentives.
Common forms of recognition-based incentives include:
- Commemoration or thank you poster at the notice board of the main entrance or lunch room, and in the company magazine or through a special memo.
- Personal letter to employees' families recognizing the efforts.
- One-on-one time or lunch/dinner spent with management, with the management seeking the advice of the employee.
- Special time off to spend with the family, and the like.
- Team lunch or dinner to commemorate the occasion.
Recognition-based incentives can even be simple measures such as a badge of honor or a helium balloon to fix at the workstation.
Common forms of achievement-based incentives include favorable performance appraisal ratings and better scope for promotions and career advancement.
Many companies place the money saved through the waste reduction program in the employee benefits fund or donate the same to a charity.
The key to success is to adopt the incentives that suit the organization, and which the employees prefer.
Image Credit: flickr.com/Curtis Palmer