The Effort-Net Return Model of Employee Motivation: Principles, Propositions, and Prescriptions

By Philip C. Grant | Go to book overview

3
Principle 2: Employees Will Be Motivated When They Perceive that Performance Leads to Reward

In order for employees to exert high effort, they must see a good reason for it and know that there are benefits to it. Employees must sense that performance pays off--that it will yield desired positive outcomes. The stronger the perceived correlation between performance and desired rewards (positive outcomes), the stronger the motivation.


PROPOSITION 2.1: EMPLOYEES MUST PERCEIVE THAT REWARDS ARE CONTINGENT ON PERFORMANCE.

To sense a strong performance-reward correlation, one must sense that rewards are received on a performance contingent basis. One must get high rewards for high performance and low rewards for low performance. One must not feel that rewards are experienced independent of performance.

One of the overriding conclusions of the effort-net return model of motivation is that you do not just simply provide the employee with valued rewards-- rewards matched to his or her needs--to motivate. You must be sure those rewards are experienced contingent on performance. And it is the degree of contingency (the slope of the reward function) that is particularly important.

The following are ways to get employees to see that the rewards they receive from the organization are highly contingent on their level of performance.


1. "Talk up" any contingent relations between performance and rewards.

If rewards are contingent on performance, employees have to know it in order for the rewards to be motivational. And casual awareness is not enough. They should be acutely sensitive to the fact. To build this sensitivity, managers can

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