Thursday, 30 August 2012

Paid in Full

No, I don't understand it either
I'm willing to wager that people who design pay and incentive plans for large businesses do not have children, or if they do, they can't get them to make their beds. 

Before becoming a freelancer my 'package' was made up of salary, and a bonus plan so complex that it required knowledge of database technology to find out what deals you had been paid on.  Add to that an annual review with a scoring system of 1-5, and the requirement to complete CBI's, KPI's and meet an RBI, and you can understand why many people thought it was SH.....I'll let you complete the rest. 

Compare this to encouraging a child to get themselves ready in the morning.  During a conversation with some friends (as mentioned in the Because You're Worth it post), one remarked how her children aged 7 and 4 not only made their beds but also tidied their rooms, made breakfast and got themselves dressed without complaining - they may be dressed in a tutu, a t-shirt, and a pair of their dad's socks, but they did it by themselves.  She achieved this through the well-worn tactic of a reward chart and pocket money.  The rest of us mused on the fact that we had become incredibly slack and resolved to make some changes in our own homes.

Easy Peasy!
Summer holiday out of the way, we decided to go for it and already the children are doing a list of things that historically would have taken much nagging to achieve.  Our daughter loves being in charge of making breakfast and our son is constantly asking what else he can do to get more stars.  They're even putting their clothes in the washing basket which is something that not all of the adults in the house achieve.....

Going through this reward process has made me realise that there are times as adults in business when we allow ourselves to be treated like a lab rat: made to carry out increasingly complicated (and often, meaningless) tasks in order to receive a reward whilst someone else watches over us.  Coming away from that environment means that I avoid the headache that is an annual review conducted in algebra, plus I have a true sense of the value and worth of the work that I do for my clients.  

It feels like a proper, grown up way to conduct business and it certainly motivates me to work harder than any incentive plan ever did.  I'm not saying that businesses need to set up sticker charts in their offices and treat their employees as children, but I do think that more companies should start treating their staff as adults when it comes to getting paid.

Postscript: Today's title comes courtesy of Eric B & Rakim - watch it here


  1. One of the many joys of self employment is that you don't have to deal with all this sh...(yep, you can finish the rest) any more!

    Great article, really enjoyed it and thanks for entering the blog carnival!

    1. Thanks Helen - glad you enjoyed it. I'm off now to check out the rest of the blogs :)