Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Incentives and motivation

Just spotted this piece on Matthew Taylor's blog. One of the things that is most disappointing about the remuneration debate is that it hasn't focused on whether what we do currently actually works. I don't think it does (and by extension that means I don't think that remuneration drove behaviour that led to the crisis) and I think that we operate with incredibly crude assumptions in the governance world. Companies (mainly, but also some investors) often say that good structures don't make bad managers into good ones. True enough, but then why do we think that attaching a big carrot to some very broad metrics will achieve the same? Or turn good managers into great ones, or make people who do the job well because it gives them satisfaction work harder?

More thinking required?

1 comment:

Nick Drew said...

what works - really really works

- managements that can see and genuinely understand what's going on:

> higher-level objectives
> dtailed business dynamics
> staff actvities, individually
> scope for and signs of gaming the system

- intelligently set criteria

- endless willingness to re-calibrate

- sufficient transparency that staff trust the process (and, ideally, understand it)

[for 'management' and 'staff' read rewarders and rewardees at every level]