WageWatch Ibrief Blog

Login

The Pros and Cons of Merit Pay

Merit pay is a compensation strategy that is used to motivate employees with pay increases for positive performance outcomes. This system is one that is heavily debated among businesses throughout a wide variety of industries. Every business has its own unique structure and culture, and must decide what payment system works best for them based on a set budget developed from salary reports. If you are thinking about establishing a merit pay system for your company, it is important to understand both the pros and the cons:

Pros

– Statistically, merit pay is one of the most effective methods for motivating employees to perform at their peak, which allows them to achieve high levels of productivity.

– This pay system promotes healthy competition among employees, encouraging each to work hard to achieve their very best while also delivering great results for the company. Employees enjoy being recognized among their co-workers and upper management for a job well done.

– The brightest and most skilled employees can easily become unmotivated. With a merit pay system, however, motivation is achieved. High performers are well aware of their skills and enjoy using them in challenges to achieve goals that are linked to monetary incentives. Merit pay gives these employees the recognition and reward they deserve and also helps companies to retain their best employees.

Cons

– Merit pay systems can cause conflict among employees. Some may feel that the system is unfair because no matter how hard they work, they may not be able to earn any incentives. This leads employees to feel unmotivated and unimportant. This is primarily due to inadequate performance appraisal systems leading to inconsistencies among raters.  And the performance appraisal ratings are the basis for the merit pay.

– Merit pay systems can garner healthy competition, but they also may lead to the disintegration of team unity. If everyone is in it for themselves, problems could arise. Personal goals may become more important than team goals, which is not beneficial for the company as a whole. Top performers may also be seen as more valuable and important than others, leading to feelings of jealousy.

– It can be challenging in the current economy to adequately distribute merit pools of 2% or 3% and still award your top performers adequately

For the most part, merit pay is a method that is generally accepted and tends to work for most businesses. It is important, however, that you still weigh the pros and cons before carefully choosing a payment system that works the best for your business and its unique culture. All incentives should be those that will be meaningful to employees. As such, businesses must provide incentives that are competitive with compensation being provided to top performers at other companies. Salary reports can provide you with this data.

At WageWatch, our professionals can provide your business with compensation surveys and salary reports to help you establish a budget for your merit pay program, including bonuses and incentives. Our innovative company is a leader in the collection of data for surveys and salary reports, which allows us to provide services to a wide range of industries in both the private and public sector. To learn more about our compensation surveys, salary reports and other services, please call 480-237-6130 or contact us online.

 

This entry was posted on Wednesday, January 30th, 2013 at 3:14 PM and is filed under Benefits & Compensation. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Comments are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.