Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Rewards and Performance Revisit

I know it's going to sound like I'm trying to talk my boss and yours out of giving us both raises, and of course I'm not, but I keep hearing people tell me they're worried that they can't work in teams because their system pits them against one another.

Usually it's an excuse or reason for not pairing. "If I improve my colleague, he will beat me to the incentives" or "if we do his work first, then there's a chance I'll fall behind."  I'm not a fan of individual work assignments, and I'm not a fan of competitive incentives. Rather than rant about it, I'd like to point you to some other authors and how they feel about the topic:

I don't make any money from slamming people who are trying to do a good job, whether in software development, testing, management, or consulting. I certainly have all sympathy for people who are trying to make their way and Do The Right Thing, including doing right by their bosses. I think good soldiers and good citizens are worth their weight in gold. I'm not slamming anyone.

What I am doing is asking that people consider what the science says. I've been on a couple of mind-bogglingly good teams in my life, and we didn't worry about forced ranking and annual reviews and how one of us might get more than their fair share. We just worked. When it's all about the work, we can be colleagues and friends and coworkers and good things can happen.

I have alternative views about career paths, and you can look there when you feel the urge.

Maybe I'm pining for some of my glory days, against my own best advice, but I would love to see people able to surpass the best working relationships I've seen personally. I don't think it's impossible, just impeded.