Feedback and Incentives: Maintaining Motivated Employees

“Feedback and Incentives: Maintaining Motivated Employees” is a research project funded by the Norwegian Research Council’s program “Welfare, Working Life and Migration” (VAM). The main goal of the project is to provide a careful theoretical and empirical investigation of how monetary and non-monetary motivators affect employee’s behavior and work satisfaction.

Motivated employees are crucial for value creation. What are the factors that trigger work satisfaction and motivate employees to do their best? This research project has a particular focus on non-monetary motivators and feedback. People can get motivated by the feeling of accomplishment, by the social esteem or respect that follows from good performance, by employers who pay attention and provide constructive feedback, and by leaders who are able to articulate clear strategies and visions for the organization they are leading.

One important change in working life has been the introduction of information technology, software applications and new technological devices that has dramatically increased the scope for individual and relative performance feedback. In this research project we investigate how such technological feedback systems affect motivation, performance, work satisfaction and sick leave.

We ask the following questions: Can the introduction of feedback technologies increase non-monetary motivation through the feeling of accomplishment or social esteem? Or can the technologies’ focus on measuring performance make employees feel monitored and controlled and thereby become less motivated? Can such technologies lead to an unhealthy performance pressure that leads to sick leave and higher turnover? Can feedback technologies along with monetary incentives make colleagues more competitive and less willing to help each other? Can feedback crowd out intrinsic motivation? How do non-monetary motivators interact with monetary incentives?

The project will end in June 2017,