Impact of employee benefits on work motivation and productivity
Critical Analysis of Hong et al.’s (1995) Article
The purpose of the article by Hong et al. (1995) was to report the findings of a study that was conducted to determine the effect of employee reward programs on job motivation and efficiency. The study was conducted in the form of a survey on 27 common employee benefit programs. Specially prepared questionnaires were sent to employees and managers of 133 randomly selected organizations in Taiwan.
The findings point to a cognitive difference between the workers and the management of the corporations with regard to how they perceive employee benefit programs (Hong et al., 1995). Whereas workers value monetary benefits and other benefits such as holidays and paid leaves, employers focus their attention on year-end bonuses and other offers such as entertainment.
As well, it is indicated that there is a complex relationship between employee rewards and work output. Although job performance is seen as a combination of motivation for work and overall productivity, employee benefit programs are said to have a stronger impact on work motivation than on productivity (Hong et al., 1995). Further, it was found that the needs that employees seek to satisfy with rewards can be categorized into different classes: physical, security, social and self-actualization.
The findings generally reinforce Maslow’s theory of hierarchy of needs. This theory is applicable in the field of employee motivation in the form of organizations providing financial, social, and psychological benefits to their employees (Kaur, 2013). However, the results of the study are largely based on the manufacturing sector in Taiwan. Therefore, the findings may not be applicable to knowledge workers in different industries. This calls for further research to be conducted on the subject.
Hong, J. C., Yang, S. D., Wang, L. F., Chiou, E. F., Sun, F. Y., & Huang, T. L. (1995). Impact of employee benefits on work motivation and productivity. The International Journal of Career Management, 7(6), 10-14.
Kaur, A. (2013). Maslow’s need hierarchy theory: Applications and criticisms. Global Journal of Management and Business Studies, 3(10), 1061-1064.