Businesses looking for a boost in productivity should consider tying employee pay into company performance, new research shows.
A study by workforce solutions firm Kelly Services found that 40 percent of employees feel they would be more productive if they had their earnings linked to certain performance or productivity goals. Currently, nearly a third of the companies surveyed use a performance-based pay system with their employees. Performance-based pay includes any arrangement where an element of the total salary is tied to meeting performance targets, including profit-sharing, performance bonuses and sales commissions.
Steve Armstrong, senior vice president and general manager of U.S. operations for Kelly Services, said the trend reflects widespread recognition that organizations and individuals are most productive when their interests, including incentive-based pay, are aligned.
"There are many employees who are clearly confident in their ability to perform their jobs well, and they want the opportunity to be compensated according to their performance," Armstrong said.
The study found that among professional and technical employees, the highest rates of performance-based pay are in sales and marketing, with the lowest being in education and science.
Overall, less than 40 percent of the employees surveyed feel they are being paid fairly.
"Performance-based incentive plans can be a win-win situation," Armstrong said. "Employees can benefit from the opportunity to work smarter and raise their earnings capacity, while employers benefit from increased productivity and a more engaged workforce."
The study was based on surveys of from more than 120,000 respondents in 31 countries, including nearly 12,000 in the United States.