Registered: Nov, 2002
Re: RE: Why salary bonus and other incentives fail to meet their objectives
Posted: May 19, 2004 9:31 AM
> Salary, flexible hours, location (whatever) are not a
> rewards. I will take these things and in exchange I will
> give forth my time and effort.
These things usually are, in fact, a reward, at least in practice. For example, better people (for some definition of "better") tend to have higher salaries. If salaries weren't rewards, then people in the same rough job would have the same salaries.
> > part of the discussion" - actually, it is. Salary, and
> > the larger idea of "compensation" is a large portion of
> > Dale's arguments - and of people's jobs.
> Not once have I mentioned "compensation". I have focused
> solely on merit bonuses and appraisals.
You have used a number of terms which you may not call "compensation", but I certainly would. The term can be a little slippery, but I don't think you own the definition :-)
I personally think that compensation, in its totality, is at the heart of the issue you're talking about. You are arguing for fixed compensation, I am arguing for flexible contribution where an employee shares a greater measure of risk, and in return get potentially receiver greater rewards.
> > You say "Dale discussed merit based bonuses. When I?m
> > working on a project I don?t second-guess my actions by
> > trying to evaluate whether my merit bonus rating will
> > positively or negatively influenced". Bonuses don't
> > that way. You don't think every minute of every day
> It's a good thing that you are so self-aware of how
> bonuses affect you, however, I'm not buying it. The use
> of "you" in this last sentence indicates that you are
> projecting your own perceptions onto the reader.
Yes, there was some projection there - I was summarizing what it's like to actually work in an environment like mine that had a very successful bonus system. The "you" meant "people in this sort of environment don't think about bonuses every minute of the day".
I've worked in that sort of environment, and I'm talking about my experiences working there and what it was like. It's injecting a real life example into the discussion. It sounds like you object to this for some reason I can't quite work out.
Have you ever worked in an environment like I described? If so, I'd like to hear about it.
> Again, I can point to the evidence: people put significant
> effort into getting the carrot and avoiding the stick.
> Unfortunately, you've dismissed the evidence as being in
> n the minority because of some anonymous reviewer who,
> like you, also disagrees with the conclusions of the book.
> I'm also assuming that you've read the book and are not
> t just taking the reviewer's word (or mine) at face
Dale, you haven't pointed to any evidence in the above. You made a statement, you did not provide evidence.
I can't come out and say that the book is wrong, as I'm hardly an expert in the field. My opinion is that it is in fact wrong, and I pointed out that there is lots of literature that contradicts it. If you disagree, tell me specifically why you think the majority is wrong. Don't just tell me it's wrong - cite the contradicting positions and show where their research was flawed.
> Ok, here's the challenge to you: stop the rhetoric and
> produce that majority evidence.
Actually, the negative reviewer has already done the job for me. He cites several references that refute the book you keep referring to, and suggests a book with an alternative viewpoint that's suitable for laymen.
> I am completely flabbergasted by your insistence that
> removing power plays and focusing on treating people with
> dignity and respect is flawed.
I never said that. What I said is that you need both dignity and respect _and_ proper rewards. I did not remove dignity and respect and various psychological motivations - I completely agree with your statements there. I just said removing rewards is a mistake.
You may believe that you can't have dignity and respect w/ something like a perfomance based bonus. Well, in my experience you're wrong - I've worked for companies that achieved what you seem to believe is unachievable. I have also worked for companies with zero risk/zero reward that you are espousing - and I was personally miserable there. In my experience, lack of rewards breeds mediocrity and disinterested employees.
Sorry if this flabbergasts you, but it's my honest experiences. In all candor, what _you_ describe sounds to me like a hippie commune, and I'm pretty surprised that a software professional would suggest it as a model for treating employees and running a company.