Merit and Incentive Pay

Motivation is an important factor to consider, if an organization wants to have a capable and motivated workforce. There are many strategies that can be implemented in order to have such a workforce. However, for the sake of this study, two issues will be examined. The first one is merit and incentive pay. The second one concerns policies that the company creates, when it comes to the behavior of employees, particularly concerning their weight and smoking cigarettes. The first issue requires a clear understanding of how to develop a merit pay and incentive program. The second one refers to ethics, which means that the company must use a particular ethical framework to develop the correct policy.

When it comes to merit pay and incentives, the company must develop an evaluation program that is customized to deal with different types of workers within the organization. There must be different types of performance evaluation systems for the manufacturing sector and for the marketing department. At the same time, corporate leaders must come to realize that “performance standards should be closely linked to the business strategy of the corporation” (Heneman, 2002). In other words, the company should not simply develop a merit pay program for the sake of making one. The said program must be linked to its goals.

The final stage of the process requires clear communication for the idea to be transmitted to all employees. At this critical juncture, there is a need to develop confidence and trust in the performance appraisal process for workers to accept the merit pay program and other incentive programs that the company will implement (Odgers, 2005). If employees will not participate, the program will fail, and it will significantly affect the morale of workers.

There is also the second issue, which concerns employee behavior, especially when it comes to the weight of employees and smoking cigarettes. There are certain organizations that consider uncontrollable weight a factor affecting job performance. Thus, there are organizations that make it a point to discourage workers from eating junk food and other high-calorie products. At the same time, there are organizations that are very much concerned with the health of their employees, and therefore, they are against smoking cigarettes.

The policies to prevent workers from eating high-calorie food, and the bias against workers, who smoke cigarettes, are ethical issues. These issues have no direct bearing on the performance of workers, but at the same time, there are many, who feel strongly against these practices. In order to lessen the conflict and to develop effective policies that enhance employee satisfaction, it is better to use an ethical framework to make the correct decision. In this regard, utilitarianism is the best practice to be administered.

Utilitarianism was developed by John Stuart Mill. In the said ethical framework, “actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness, wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness” (Watson & Arp, 2011). If one will use this framework, it can be argued that eating junk food and gaining weight do not hurt anyone, except a person that becomes overweight. However, if the person likes eating junk food, the company cannot prevent him or her from doing so. However, it is a different story, when it comes to smoking cigarettes. It is now common knowledge that second-hand smoke from cigarettes can harm a person, who does not smoke, but happens to be nearby and inhales it. In other words, it is not just the smoker, who suffers from the effect of tobacco smoke, but also others, who simply happen to be in close proximity to the smoker. There must be a policy against smoking in public places and other areas that are used by both smokers and non-smokers.