Human Service Reward System

Human Service Reward System
Hsm 220

When it comes to designing a reward system for an organization many factors come into play. ???Different people have different values, needs, wants and expectations, and unless the conditions can be addressed satisfactorily the outcomes can prove to be disastrous??? (Making Recognition and Rewards a ???Whole-Person??? Experience, 2009). The reward system needs to meet two main factors, intrinsic rewards and extrinsic rewards. I will first briefly describe the positive and negative aspects of intrinsic reward and extrinsic rewards. Then I will explain my plan for a Reward System to be used in the Human Service field.
First I would like to talk about extrinsic rewards. ???Extrinsic rewards tend to leave people feeling controlled by the rewards??? (Intrinsic Motivation and Self Determination, 2004). This type of a reward tends to be more of a monetarily based rather than a non-monetarily based. They can include such things as pay raises, profit sharing, stock options, and company paid vacations. Though the monetary reward shows the employee that they are appreciated, it is only a temporary reward, and begins to become something that is expected. Extrinsic rewards can also effect intrinsic motivation.
Intrinsic rewards offer a more sustainable compensation for a job well done. ???Employees would like to be recognized for their efforts and know their actions are appreciated??? (Kranzusch, 1997). The chart below shows different factors that external motivators have on an employee??™s intrinsic motivation.
External Motivators | Effect on Intrinsic Motivation |
Monetary rewards | Tend to decrease intrinsic motivation |
Other tangible rewards | Tend to decrease intrinsic motivation |
Deadlines | Tend to decrease intrinsic motivation |
Threats of punishment | Tend to decrease intrinsic motivation |
Competition against others | Tends to decrease intrinsic motivation |
Directives and evaluations | Tend to decrease intrinsic motivation |
Negative feedback | Tends to decrease intrinsic motivation |
Controlling interpersonal climates | Tend to decrease intrinsic motivation |
Choice | Tends to increase intrinsic motivation |
Acknowledgment | Tends to increase intrinsic motivation |
Encouragement for self-initiation | Tends to increase intrinsic motivation |
Positive feedback | Tends to increase intrinsic motivation |
Autonomy-supportive interpersonal climates | Tend to increase intrinsic motivation |
(Intrinsic Motivation and Self Determination, 2004)
???Studies show that if the interpersonal context tends to be autonomy supportive, people within it will be more intrinsically motivated, whereas if it tends to be controlling, people will be less intrinsically motivated??? (Intrinsic Motivation and Self Determination, 2004). When designing a reward system many factors are important not only to the employees but to the organization as well. ???Equality of a reward system is important because it supports the shared mindset of the team and organizational values??? (Kranzusch, 1997).
I have included both extrinsic and intrinsic rewards in the reward system that I created for a Human Service Organization. Every Reward system should start with a base. My system includes a base pay, basic medical coverage, a rotating holiday schedule, and a week vacation. Also included in the base package is one personal day off. This day is known as ???Birthday Present???. The day can be either used on the employee??™s birthday or two weeks before or after their birthday. This special perk shows the employee that they are respected and valued as a person and not just another worker. By providing the same starting package for all employees, I am insuring that everyone is being treated equally, and that comprehensive benefits are being offered. I am also insuring that the employees are being treated as individuals.
My plan also incorporates a published weekly employee newsletter. The newsletter will inform the employees of any changes to company policies as well as a special section dedicated to the employee of the week. The chosen employee of the week will have shown an individual effort to help their clients above and beyond the required duties of a human service worker. In addition to the special section dedicated to the employee of the week, the selected employee will also receive a special parking spot for the week. This shows that the job the employee is doing is important, and that the employees are getting a chance to show quality not quantity of work.
My plan also includes a monthly Friday night mixer. The mixer will allow employees to bring their families to a special dinner in their honor. Having this dinner allows the employees to share their personal lives with their co-workers as well as their work life with their families. By incorporating this benefit I am showing the employees that they are doing a good job and that they are respected as individuals.
My plan includes the benefit of advancement within. This means that promotions are offered to the employees before outside applications are taken. By receiving referrals for a promotion from current supervisors, an employee is being seen as an asset to the company and not just a worker bee. The referrals will show the employees that the supervisors find the work they are doing as valuable and nonexpendable.
One of the biggest and most important factors of my plan is that of self assessment and development. Once a month, there will be a workshop that must be attended by all employees. This workshop will allow the employees to assess their co-workers weaknesses and strengths. The employees will be able to evaluate not only their co-workers but supervisors as well. This factor of my plan shows the employees that their input is just as valuable as their supervisors.
In addition to the workshop, a class will be offered once a week. This will be a certification class. The certification class will be offered to the employees free of charge, and they will also receive a bonus once the certification class has been completed. They will receive a letter of certification and will be able to add the certification to their resume. The certification class will change every six months, allowing all employees the same opportunity as well as a variety of choices. By offering this perk, I will be offering the employees a chance for self development, and improvement. By making the certification class an option and not a requirement I am showing the employees that they have freedom in their choices.
All of the perks and benefits of my Reward System address the nine major factors of motivation. By designing a work environment that encourages people to not only give their best because they have to, but because they want to, I am promoting the most valuable type of reward, self motivation. Extrinsic rewards offer a short and brief sense of accomplishment. Yet when the reward system, such as the one I have designed, offers more intrinsic rewards, the sense of accomplishment and importance is long lived.


Kranzusch, Michael James (1997).?  The effect of extrinsic and intrinsic reward systems on employee motivation.? Ph.D. dissertation, The Union Institute, United States — Ohio. Retrieved September 28, 2010, from Dissertations & Theses: Full Text.(Publication No. AAT 9720505).
Intrinsic Motivation and Self-Determination. (2004). In? Encyclopedia of Applied Psychology. Retrieved September 28, 2010 from
Making Recognition and Rewards a ???Whole-Person??? Experience. (2009). In? BUSINESS: The Ultimate Resource. Retrieved September 28, 2010 from


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