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11/11/2009

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Thanks, Darcy, for helping me organize my thoughts on this same issue.

For a while there about a month ago I was exhausting myself mentally on the WorldatWork Online Community trying to provide compelling proof that pay-for-performance works. Despite the excellent evidence provided from the research of Schuster & Zingheim, Milkovich & Newman, Ann Bares, and others, there was a cadre of anonymous posters that refused to be budged on their thoughts that it was time for incentives to go.

It was about that time I started playing with a radical idea in my head. Isn’t any kind of remuneration that an employer provides a form of pay-for-performance? When an employer provides a base salary, wage rate, and a benefits package, isn’t it with the expectation that the employee will come back the next day and continue doing what the employer asks them to do?

And since there are so many people in our country looking for employment these days - and so many people from around the world still crossing our borders to come to the land of opportunity - isn’t this proof positive that by its very nature all remuneration is pay-for-performance?

And I like your take that it is the responsibility of the person/organization that is providing that compensation to make crystal clear what performance is expected.

I liked your point about working long hours v. delivering value. 'Performance' is such a vague word, it's no wonder someone working a 60 hour week thinks they're performing, independent of actual results.

Paul & Working Girl -

Thanks for reading and commenting. It strikes me that frequently when businesses say their pay-for-performance programs aren't effective, you'd get a different answer from everyone if you asked them what performance they are measured on. And performance does not equal effort, it equals results.

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