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ecartlidge
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Another downside to cash incentives is how employees use the cash. All too often employees use their cash incentives to pay their mortgage, tuition and monthly bills. Employees view cash incentives received as another form of pay and not a reward for how they performed their jobs. They do not have an experience (trip or vacation) or physical prize (that TV they always wanted but never would spend money on) that links their performance to a reward. Cash incentives once spent, are forgotton by employees whereas a prize or gift that they are given will always be a reminder of their accomplishments and give them a sense of pride.
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Bob, how does the high tech firm you refer to handle goal setting and success or failure of meeting or not meeting goals? What is the frequent lower stakes feedback? I agree that performance reviews are not effective, however if they are used for goal setting and rewarding desired behavior you need to put in place a process where that is measured periodically. I would not classify that process as lower stakes feedback. The newest hot HR concept, pay for performance is even more destructive to morale. Traditionally annual salary increases are tied to performance reviews. A better approach would be to disconnect that process and give employees annual salary increases using an annual COLA approach. I have seen that done in collective bargaining agreements where performance is evaluated separately from the annual review process.
You are correct we need to measure leadership using metrics other than financial ones. Your suggestion to measure turn over is more of the same thing companies have been doing forever. Based on your examples you are measuring good turn over which is a start but what about other leadership qualities? How do leaders rate on other leadership qualities? Treatment of employees? Do manaagers treat all employees with respect regardless of their differences? Do managers create an environment that incents employees to do their best or go beyond their basic job responsibilites? Do they trust their manager? Do managers sincerely care about employees and their family? While these questions may seem like simple questions, these are strong leadership qualites. You need to define the skills that make a good leader and measure them often!
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The problem with the open office approach for many companies is they do not have the right culture and leadership as you clearly pointed out. They may a greater focus on service in customer contact departments than they have in the accounts payable department. Companies that have individual departments or groups within their orgaizations where the culture and leadership does exist have an open office approach in those departments. I think having a different open office approach by department within a comapany mixes the 2 office types and works well. In a service industry where it is vaulable for a manager to observe customer service, the open office approach works the best.
The problem with the open office approach for many companies is they do not have the right culture and leadership as you clearly point out. Developing the right culture does not happen overnight. Some companies may have individual departments or groups within their organization where the culture and leadership does exists. I think there is value in allowing a different open office approach by department within a company. In a service industry where it is valuable for a manager to observe customer service, the open office approach works the best.
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Feb 8, 2010