October 14, 2009

Sins of Commission: Be Careful What You Pay For, You May Get It

Posted in Uncategorized at 4:56 am by ctennert

Many companies believe that if they compensate their employees through monetary incentives, then all their problems will dissolve.  Yes, people are motivated by money, but that is not their sole motivator at the end of the day.  People who love what they do will provide great service to their company on a consistent basis.  How do they love what they do?  They are probably treated right by their employers with more than just money as an incentive to perform well. 

If employees are driven to do well by their companies through financial rewards only, this will definitely shape their behavior, and not in positive ways all the time.  Employees will do anything they can to earn that extra dollar, even if it means being unreasonable and selfish.  Again, they should want to do well because they are proud of the company they work for, ideally.  Employees who are consistently meeting expectations with the same monetary rewards at the end can plateau, or get lazy, losing interest in their job, and eventually moving on to something bigger and better.

Goal setting is another problem companies face, in that how do we set them?  What is fair, challenging yet reachable?  How do we measure success?  What are the benefits or consequences for not reaching these goals?  I suppose if one company did not offer incentives to their employees, a competitor would, hence a double-edged sword.  My advice would be, strive to be a great company, incentives aside.  Companies should give incentives to their employees because they want to, not because they have to.

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