Saturday, March 21, 2009

Perverting Pay for Performance to Remain, Says Bernanke & Bair

Bad management takes the fifth or sixth item on a list of motivators and designs a complex bribing scheme to manipulate employees toward the "corporate aim". Pay falls well down the reasons people work. Sure, if it's not enough, it can become a demotivator. That's why Alfie Kohn and Dr. Edwards W. Deming offered:

"If you want people to do a good job, give them a good job to do." Dr. Deming

"Pay people well. Pay people fairly. Then do everything possible to take money off people’s minds." Alfie Kohn

America is disgusted by the AIG pay for performance example. Note how defenders shifted the performance bonus to a retention purpose. Others call it part of an expected pay package. This shows how rewards become punishment when taken away. Alfie Kohn clearly talks about this in his book, Punished by Rewards.

Pay for performance is the eighty/twenty rule in reverse. Design a complex, demotivating scheme around the variable that has a minor impact on motivation. Plans foster internal competition, a negative for organizations wanting to deliver quality goods and services.

Lazy leaders contract out departments or production. Clueless leaders hire consultants to craft pay for performance packages. The world has a crisis in quality. That is clear. It's time to substitute leadership, not tinker with bribing schemes

Sheila Bair, Ben Bernanke, President Obama, Congress and those occupying plush board room chairs haven't a clue. Not only do taxpayer supported banks get to keep P4P, this administration spreads the poison to education and health care. Sad days, indeed. When we need human leaders most, only Skinnerians can be found. We're just rats in a cage.

No comments: