Motivating employees through incentives: productive or a counterproductive strategy

J Pak Med Assoc. 2014 May;64(5):567-70.


The disparity between human resource in health and provision of health services is a growing concern worldwide. Many developing countries are facing this crisis and therefore human resource in health is considered a high priority on their agenda.This imbalance between supplies of human resource is exacerbated by migration of health workers in many countries. Understanding the motivational factor is an important aspect to retain the migrating health workforce. This paper analyses the role of financial and non financial incentives in motivating the health work force. A review of available literature was conducted to understand the role of motivational factor in retaining health workforce. A review of current literature found that an incentive plays a key role in motivating a health worker. Financial incentives are useful in improving the compliance to standard policies and procedures. Comprehensive integrated incentive system approach should be established to develop a sustainable health workforce with required skill. Likewise monetary incentives should be linked to adherence to provincial and national guidelines and procedures. Sustainability could be ensured by commitment of government, political will and involvement of key stakeholders and decision makers.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Employee Incentive Plans* / economics
  • Employee Incentive Plans* / organization & administration
  • Humans
  • Job Satisfaction
  • Morale
  • Motivation*
  • Personnel Turnover