Sins of Commission Article

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

If the study that the article references to, found that most employees seek to please their colleagues and leaders and do a good job, then vocal feedback seems like the best way to promote quality and efficiency out of your employees.  Let them know when they’re doing a good job.  Get out on the floor, or out in the field and talk.  Get engaged and give positive feedback when it’s deserved.  When you’re consistently giving someone positive feedback, then give them a raise because they deserve it.  Leadership needs to give their management empowerment to make those decisions, and if leadership is engaged then they’ll know if the manager’s feedback and raises given were appropriate.  Trying to quantify production in terms of employees is difficult in most jobs, and it’s even more difficult to fairly blanket across a large company.  This article is spot on when it states that you get what you pay for.  The executive reference to CEO incentives that are proportional to share prices encourages foul play.  I still believe that getting engaged and involved with your ‘team’ is the way to spawn teamwork and a team like atmosphere where everyone has an important role.

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Arrow Electronics Article

HBS Atricle on Compensation and Performance Evaluation at Arrow Electronics:

The compensation and performance evaluations at Arrow Electronics sound like a complete mess.  Managers are pressured to average 3’s and the whole company knows it.  The manager tells their staff, “The reason I’m giving you all 3’s is because that’s all I’m allowed to do, even though personally I feel that you are going above and beyond.”  So the staff walks out upset and disappointed.  The system is set up to fail.  Who gets a 5?  How does that manager know that that employee fits in the 5% of top tier employees across the whole company?  What happens is that everyone sees the leadership as disengaged and disconnected.  As a manager, if you don’t already know who your best employees are, then you’re out of touch with them.  It is possible to have more than 5% of your staff working well above target.  I noticed that on table 1 in 1995 management obviously felt pressure to limit their ratings to anything except 3’s, then in the following years, low and behold, the numbers reflect the goals.  How accurate can that be?  This is a joke and you can sense the tension that Kaufman was feeling, knowing that the process wasn’t working.