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    Incentive Plans, Performance and Dating Policies

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    What are incentive plans? How can they help the organization to achieve their objectives? Do incentive plans really improve performance and are they cost effective? Why or why not?

    Do you have dating policies in your organizations governing employees dating each other?

    How can organizations work to create 'buy in' to these statements at all levels?

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    Solution Preview

    Excellent questions! Let's take a closer look.


    1. What are incentive plans?

    An incentive plan "is a program established to give benefits to employees to reward them for improved commitment and performance and as a means of motivation. An incentive plan is designed to supplement base pay and fringe benefits. A financial incentive plan may offer stock options or a cash bonus, whereas a nonfinancial incentive plan offers benefits such as additional paid vacations. Awards from incentive plans may be made on an individual or team basis" (http://dictionary.bnet.com/definition/incentive+plan.html).There are various types of incentive pay plans available, including profit sharing, gain sharing, piecework and standard hour plans. Each has both advantages and disadvantages to consider.


    Profit Sharing: An incentive based compensation program to award employees a percentage of the company's profits.
    How does Profit sharing work? The company contributes a portion of its pre-tax profits to a pool that will be distributed among eligible employees. The amount distributed to each employee may be weighted by the employee's base salary so that employees with higher base salaries receive a slightly higher amount of the shared pool of profits. Generally this is done on an annual basis.

    ? Brings groups of employees to work together toward a common goal (the success/benefit of the company).
    ? Helps employees focus on profitability.
    ? The costs of implementing the plan rise and fall with the company's revenues.
    ? Enhances commitment to organizational goals.

    ? The pay for each employee moves up or down together (no individual differences for merit or performance).
    ? Focuses only on the goal of profitability (which may be at the expense of quality).
    ? For smaller companies, these plans may result in drastic swings in earnings for employees which the employees may find difficult to manage their personal finances.
    ? Adherence to the FLSA requires employers to recalculate each worker's "regular rate" of pay. To overcome this limitation, employers may restrict this type of compensation to exempt employees.

    When does Profit sharing work best? When company earnings are relatively stable (or steadily increasing).

    What is the best way to implement Profit sharing? Meet with executives to develop a clear understanding of profit sharing. Develop various formulas and models to be used in predicting future gains and the costs associated ...

    Solution Summary

    By illustrative example, this solution describes incentive plans, how they can help the organization to achieve their objectives and whether or not incentive plans really improve performance and cost effectiveness. It also discusses dating policies in organizations governing employees dating each other and specific strategies to create 'buy in' to these statements at all levels. Supplemented with an article on incentive pay plans.