There are a number of challenges that are associated with long term behavioral improvement. Such include environmental factors, child factors, consistency, and accurate diagnosis.
It should be noted that environmental factors can hinder long-term behavioral improvements. Factors of the environment include the things which may be faced from outside immediate environment. Identification of environmental factors is beneficial in the formulation and understanding of the probable causes of problematic behaviors. (Wright & Kacmar, 1995).
“Child factors” should be considered when making long-term behavioral improvements. Generally, child factors include medical diagnoses and mental developments. Several diagnoses might provide an explanation to the manner in which learning or response to a given situation takes place. These have to be considered in the development of interventions which targets long-term behavioral improvements (Jessup, & Stahelski, 1999).
Consistency is also vital when long-term behavioral improvements are being made. Recognition as well as positive reinforcement of desired behaviors is vital. Maintenance of consistency may be hard; however, when there is no consistency, it may be detrimental to have positive behavior (Saari, & Latham, 1982: Jenkins, Mitra, Gupta, & Shaw, 1998).
Incentive programs refer to the formal schemes which are applied so as to encourage or to promote specific behaviors or actions by a given group of individuals during a specified duration. Generally, incentive programs help in the motivation of employees. It is also used in sales so as to retain the present customers and also for attracting more customers. A number of scientific literatures refer to incentive programs as payment for performance.
It is quite true that incentive programs will improve the performance of employees for a specified duration of time. It should be noted that there are several advantages that are brought about by the incentive programs. First, incentive programs are capable of improving communication and also building positive attitudes of workers who may be assigned to carry out the given tasks.
The programs therefore results into an improvement in productivity, which correspondingly results to very high profits. It should however, be noted that the moment that the incentive programs are stopped, workers may feel relaxed. This is because incentive programs only motivate them during the time that the incentives are provided.
Incentive programs also attract new workers besides retaining those who are already present within the organization. When a worker has been attracted by the incentives and the management stops the incentive programs after the employee has been employed, the employee may feel dissatisfied with the job and may therefore look for greener pastures.
This illustrates that incentives only motivates for specified durations. For the benefits of incentive programs to be realized, there is need for the organizations to periodically come up with new incentive programs.
The use of different kinds of incentive programs within one company will enable the firm to motivate its employees whose needs are in most cases very different. A number of employees usually focus on goals which are long term. Others, however, focus on goals which are short term.
The needs of employees are also very different. Some will desire that their vacation time is prolonged while some will prefer to be paid more money. The use of different incentive programs will allow employers to respond amicably to the all the unique needs of the employees.
Incentive programs and the culture of organizations
Incentive programs to some extent affect the culture of organizations. It may be the culture of a given organization to use given incentive programs. However, the incentive programs may be retrogressive and may not meet the present needs of the employees. Therefore, organizations have to embrace change when implementing incentive programs.
This will result into a change in the culture of the organizations. Therefore, it should be noted that the culture of most organizations may be changed to meet the ever changing demands of employees; otherwise, the programs may not meet their demands and the benefits of the programs may not be achieved by the organizations.
There are a number of benefits which are brought about by the implementation of short term incentive programs. Indeed when the incentive programs are for short duration of time, the needs of the employees will be met consistently and this will improve their performance resulting into the productivity of the organization.
When the incentive programs are only for short duration of time, there will be several extended benefits. Such include consistent improvement in the productivity of the organization, increased profit, increased market share, improved customer service, reduced workplace turnover, as well as improved employee motivation.
Employees are capable of returning to their earlier behaviors once the incentive programs are over. It should be noted that it is the nature of human beings to always be enticed to work. When the incentive programs are stopped, employees will no longer be motivated. This will make them to embrace their earlier behaviors. The behavior of some will even be worse than their previous behaviors before motivation. Therefore, incentive programs should be consistent for their benefits to be realized by the organizations.
Jenkins, G.D., Mitra, A., Gupta, N., & Shaw, J.D. (1998). Are financial incentives related to performance? A metaanalytic review of empirical research. Journal of Applied Psychology, 83(5), 777-787.
Jessup, P.A., & Stahelski, A.J. (1999). The effects of a combined goal setting, feedback
and incentive intervention on job performance in a manufacturing environment. Journal of Organizational Behavior Management, 19(3), 5-26.
Saari, L.M., & Latham, G.P. (1982). Employee reactions to continuous and variable ratio reinforcement schedules involving a monetary incentive. Journal of Applied Psychology, 67(4), 506-508.
Wright, P.M., & Kacmar, K.M. (1995). Mediating roles of self-set-goals, goal commitment, self-efficacy, and attractiveness in the incentive-performance relation. Human Performance, 8(4), 263-296.