Compensation and productivity?

Subject: Compensation and productivity?
From: "Hart, Geoff" <Geoff-H -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 6 Nov 2003 11:18:59 -0500

Andrea Brundt reports: <<Somebody wrote "Non-monetary incentives (free soda,
free food, etc.) - these boost morale, but that may have no effect on
increased productivity." There's an argument that *monetary* incentives
don't do much for productivity, either -- at least when dealing with CEOs.>>

I'm always skeptical about simplistic proclamations (not Andrea's--the
article she cited) where we humans are concerned. You can't tell what will
boost productivity until you have a good understanding of what motivates and
demotivates people, what obstacles they face on the job, and what tools and
what kind of work environment they need to do their work right. In short, if
you don't know what the problem is, throwing money, donuts, and cool toys at
the employee won't solve it other than by chance. And since each employee
likely requires a different "solution", a "one size fits all" solution
rarely works.

Then, of course, there's the question of whether "productivity" is really
the issue. Is it the biggest problem, or are other things more important?
How do you know whether productivity's satisfactory? Whether raising
productivity will have other undesirable side-effects? And so on.

--Geoff Hart, ghart@
Forest Engineering Research Institute of Canada
580 boul. St-Jean
Pointe-Claire, Que., H9R 3J9 Canada

"Wisdom is one of the few things that look bigger the further away it
is."--Terry Pratchett



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