The article on prosocial bonuses

The Impact of Prosocial Bonuses on Employee Job Satisfaction

The article on prosocial bonuses is a field study on the impact of prosocial bonuses on corporate employee job satisfaction. Prosocial bonuses are funds given to employees to be spent on charitable causes rather than on themselves. The study by Anik et al. (2013) attempted to demonstrate that allocating more money to spend on individuals other than themselves will make employees happier and more cooperative in the long run. In this approach, this study serves as a synopsis of the work by Anik et al. (2013), as well as a critical examination of the hypothesis's applicability. According to Anik et al. (2013), less than half of employed Americans are happy in their workplaces. Additional data suggests that they are spending more of their time in the workplace unlike in past years. This points to an unhealthy working formula that decreases productivity.

The Role of Incentive Schemes in Improving Employee Morale

In a quest to improve employee morale, companies have developed various schemes aimed at improving work output by aiming at increasing employee happiness. The most common incentive scheme is rewarding the employees with extra money that can be spent on their individual interests. This has been known to increase job satisfaction, performance in the workplace, and increased throughput. However, Anik et al. (2013) suggest otherwise by proposing that organizations should provide employees with prosocial bonuses that can be used on charitable causes and on their fellow workers rather than for their personal gains.

The Impact of Prosocial Bonuses on Employee Performance and Relationships

The first step was done by examining whether assigning prosocial bonuses to employees can impact the general performance of employees and improve job satisfaction. The results of the study indicated that employees who participated and therefore received a prosocial bonus were much happier than their counterparts (Anik et al., 2013). While employees who received personal bonuses spent them on themselves, prosocial bonuses were recorded to have been spent on purchasing items for others such as foodstuff, cards, or treating workmates to an outing. Through this, it is believed that the prosocial bonuses led to strengthening of relationships and even the creation of new relationships. Additionally, prosocial bonuses have also been associated with increased workplace coordination and cohesiveness among teams (Anik et al., 2013). Using the bonus on fellow team members was seen to increase the feeling of reciprocating and in a way punish the freeloaders who do not contribute to the growth of the organization. Thus while team-based bonuses can help improve relationships between the colleagues, they can also cause decrease employee outcomes (Anik et al., 2013).


In my view, prosocial bonuses can play a big role in the improvement of employee morale and team cohesion. However, it cannot be used as the sole incentive to improve employee performance and has to be accompanied by the more common personal bonuses. Moreover, there should not be a large disparity in favor of the social bonus when compared to the personal bonus. In this way, the employees will feel valued and will utilize their social bonus more appropriately.


Anik L., Aknin, L.B., Norton, M.I., Dunn, E.W., & Quoidbach J. (2013) Prosocial bonuses

increase employee satisfaction and team performance. PLoS One, 8(9), e75509.

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