Discuss the Importance of Incentives and Rewards to Support Innovation at Workplace. What Role Does Leadership Play in Harnessing the Innovative Culture in the Organization?

by Aminat Abubakar – Saturday, July 1, 2017

Incentives and rewards have a great benefit for leadership and employees at the workplace. It boosts productivity and high performance. Employees are motivated by high morale, job satisfaction, and employee well-being. Once there is self-actualization by employees, leadership makes the work environment conducive to think positively on the success of the organization by supporting innovative thoughts and practices.

Scott (n.d.) states, “Through workplace rewards and incentives, employers and workers enjoy a positive and productive work environment.” Incentives and rewards can be through monetary, non-monetary, employee recognition, and employee assistance.

Monetary incentives and rewards can be in the form of employee stock options, profit sharing plans, paid time off, bonuses and cash awards. This rewards productivity and high performance; encourage completion amongst employees.
Non-Monetary Incentives and rewards include flexible work hours, training opportunities to learn new skills, and capability to work independently.
Employee Recognition provides feedback and encouragement in the form of verbal praise, award ceremonies, and public recognition for a good job performance. Work recognition by leadership and management boosts employee morale and encourages high performance in the workplace.
Employee Assistance supports work-life balance. Such incentives and reward provide employee counseling services to cope with stress, family issues and substance abuse, discounts to join fitness centers, locate daycare services, and other children activities.
Harnessing the innovative culture by leadership helps build highly engaged employees skilled in designing a better future for the organization. “When you teach the right skills, nurture an innovative culture, and establish a holistic leadership model, you set the foundation that allows innovation to thrive” (Gyorffy, 2016). Leaders inspire others and recognize the importance of innovation that is creative, relevant, and novel to their domain as a necessity for the organizations’ existence.

Goran Ekvall, Professor Emeritus of Organizational Psychology at the University of Lund in Sweden observed through a study a connection between leadership role and the organization’s creativity and innovation. Ekvall discovered that 67 percent of divergent behaviors in creativity by employees attribute to leaders’ behaviors. Employees that exhibit apathetic, indifference and lack of interest in their job were 67 percent likely to be due to leadership behavior. Organizations that practice culture of innovation by its leaders, 67 percent of the time thrives. Employees produce creative solutions and products when they found joy and meaning in their job, and when they were willing to invest energy in their work (Friedman, & Gyorffy, 2014).

Friedman and Gyorffy (2014) recommended the following 10 roles towards a “holistic leadership model for nurturing and harvesting the creative genius” while harnessing the innovative culture in the organization: 1. Futurist, 2. Direction Setter, 3. Customer Advocate, 4. Architect, 5. Venture Capitalist, 6. Mentor, 7. Barrier Buster, 8. Networker, 9. Culture Creator, and 10. Role Model.

Leaders who do not harness a culture of innovation within their organization would lead to failure in leadership, employee turnover, and loss of business. As a leader, you should have great foresight, be a role model, encourage creative and innovative culture, and put in place incentives and rewards programs to support innovation within your organization to drive your people to succeed in the competitive world.

Friedman, L., & Gyorffy, L. (2014). Chapter 4: Leading Innovation: Ten Essential Roles for Harnessing the Creative Talent of Your Enterprise. In P. Gupta & B. E. Trusko, (Eds.), Global Innovation Science Handbook. Retrieved from https://ideascale.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Enterprise-Innovation-Roles.pdf
Gyorffy, L. (2016, November 15). Lead! Don’t Manage! Harnessing the Innovative Talent of your Enterprise. Retrieved from https://ideascale.com/lead-dont-manage-harnessing-the-innovative-talent-of-your-enterprise/
Scott S. (n.d.). Rewards and Incentives in the Workplace. Retrieved from http://smallbusiness.chron.com/rewards-incentives-workplace-11236.html

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