DailyDirt: Herding Cats For Profit

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Organizational behavior can be a complex subject, and the fruits of research on the topic can range from curious phenomenon like the Hawthorne Effect to abolishing stack ranking (or instituting stack ranking). If you're interested in trying to avoid becoming a pointy-haired boss, you can brush up on some HR experiments and check out these links. If you'd like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post via StumbleUpon.
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Filed Under: employment, hawthorne effect, human resources, jobs, management, organizational behavior, performance reviews, salary, stack ranking, work
Companies: adobe


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  • icon
    Mark Gisleson (profile), 8 Oct 2014 @ 5:57pm

    Bad employment practices

    Salaries are kept confidential for the worst of reasons, and almost always hide unequal pay and disproportionate bonuses. I've written over 7,000 resumes for clients. Never has one told me of a good job review that helped them improve their work, but countless clients told me of being unfairly set up for being fired after getting a bad review that came out of nowhere.

    Nothing beats transparency, and no workplace ever suffered from hands-on management and supervisors who worked with their employees to assure top quality. You should never need a performance review to know what your boss thinks of your work.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Kimberly Nelson, 9 Oct 2014 @ 1:12am

    Bad Employment Practines

    I think trans-parity is the great equalizer.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Oct 2014 @ 7:02am

    Good and bad

    I work at a University where all staff, administrative, and faculty salaries are published annually by the faculty union. It make things easier to negotiate.

    The problem was when the state required we also publicly publish those same salaries, but then made the University include all our benefits as a dollar amount and report it in such a way to make it look like just salary being reported. I think they even counted parking permits in the "benefits" column.

    That led to politicians making arguments about how overpaid we are.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anon, 9 Oct 2014 @ 7:19am

    Yes and No.

    I've worked for companies where money was a taboo subject. It didn't matter back then, one way or another it was pretty obvious. They published accounting for projects, and hours spent per employee. It wasn't rocket science to back-calculate hourly rates for various salaries, especially when it was mostly engineers. The only purpose was to hide the inequities in the system; particularly the inter-departmental inequity. "You guys in IT aren't engineers, no certification mandatory, so why should you get paid what an engineer does?"

    They embraced the idea of replacing annual reviews with more regular contact - at least the annual review part. Otherwise, they still ignored performance. This lasted about 3 years til that management fad wore off and they realized they needed evaluations to justify non-raises.

    Poliics is politics.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      John Fenderson (profile), 10 Oct 2014 @ 10:13am

      Re: Yes and No.

      I must be the only person who honestly couldn't care less what my coworkers make. I only care what my own salary is, and whether or not it is high enough for me to feel fairly compensated.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    John Fenderson (profile), 10 Oct 2014 @ 10:11am

    More frequent check-ins

    Where I work, managers do this sort of checking in with each employee every other week (in addition to quarterly and annual performance reviews). I hate those biweekly meetings, personally. They're a complete waste of everyone's time.

    The annual review is mostly worthless as well. What tends to be worthwhile is the quarterly ones, because they're tied directly to our pocketbooks. It works like this: the company sets aside a pool of bonus money (the size of which is set by how well the business did over the last fiscal year). This pool is divided up amongst the employees and given out as quarterly bonuses, and how big of a share you get is driven by performance.

    The quarterly performance review is where you are told how much your bonus will be, and why. Carrot and stick are applied in one go, and having this happen every three months is frequent enough to make what you learn actionable but not so frequent that it makes the meetings worthless.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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