Punished by Rewards LO14590

Thomas Benjamin (BENJAMIN@fac.irm.ernet.in)
Sat, 2 Aug 1997 12:02:38 +0500 EST

I have used the PBR subject in response to LO14569 - Promotion as a reward
for compliance contributed by Simon Buckingham.

Simon wrote:

"Eric- I personally suspect that if you are willing to put up with the
managerial BS and and willing to go along with just about everything, you
get career PROMOTION!"

When I heard the title "Punished by Rewards" first from this list the
following image came to mind which the above quote seems to capture best:

An employee is like a rat placed in the organisational maize. In our
culture many organisations have promotions only as rewards. What in
effect happens is that a few rats get these rewards as they learn to
negotiate this abstract maize while the other rats are punished for not
learning what is needed to get those rewards. In reality therefore, many
are punished by rewarding a few.(Please note for some strange bureaucratic
reason I have not got a copy of the book yet.)

Hence, Simons following observation rings a bell.

"Has anyone else on the list also noticed that being promoted up the ranks
in organizations is a function not of value-added learning or serving
external customers, as it should be, but a function of learning how to
accurately guage and serve the egos of seniors."

Though I often have been the benificiary rat, have seen resultant loss of
human resource to the organisation in this system. I have never been able
to put my view across effectively. My suggestions are often quite close
to Simons following suggestion.

"Maybe migration to a learning organization should be concerned with
figuring out to substitute the current emphasis on routine learning with
greater encouragement of value-added learning. Value-added learning
discoveries are spurred principally I believe through "downstructuring":
a removal of organizational rules and policies such as job descriptions,
arbitrary promotion policies, politics and so on prevent each individual
employee from realizing their full potential."

I have not found any one yet who agrees to this. Often, I don't get to
finish my spoken paragraph. On this list I cannot be prevented from
writing. People may stop listening!

I do appreciate the reservations raised in my circles here. Maybe the
fears are valid. A few related suggestions that add to Simons list above

Job adverticement shoul only mention mission and vision of organisation
and not salaries and perks.

After mutual testing of fit for Orgsanisations need the person decides
role salary and perks within organisations capacity to meet the need.

No promotions after this. No salary hikes. No piece rate rewards. Only
inflationary organisation wide changes. Inflation could include provision
for changing organisation wide accepted changes in human need.

Role of individual can and will never be static.

Thanks for listening.

Thomas P Benjamin


"Thomas Benjamin" <BENJAMIN@fac.irm.ernet.in>

Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <rkarash@karash.com> -or- <http://world.std.com/~lo/>