Bnet recently ran an article on “10 Bad Ideas That Can Destroy Your Company.” No. 7: Incentivize people to boost performance struck home with me, making the point that traditional “do x, get more y” incentives often incent the wrong behavior.
“Build jobs around their core commitments, and pay them so that its fair, and you’ll get good performance. Ask them to work against their values for lots of extra cash, and you’ll make them feel like prostitutes.”
Know your own company values. Make your values a prominent part of your hiring process so employee personal values align with your corporate values. Then make the company values real for employees by recognizing them when they demonstrate those values in their daily work.
It’s not about rewarding them for “going above and beyond.” It’s all about recognizing them for living the values and promoting company success every day.
What are your key personal values? What are your company’s values? Are they in alignment? Better yet, tell me if your company has one set of stated values, but the way they work every day is in opposition to them. How do you handle that?