Anyhow, an organisation that somehow once got hold of my email address is Emolument ("crowd-sourced intelligence" - meaning endless surveys) which publishes heaps of stuff on salaries etc as well as firing off emails to all and sundry. This week's offering is: Does employee performance affect pay? and their survey-based answer is:
"most think their pay is not a reflection of the quality of their work. We also note that bonuses have a limited impact perception of pay. Not a single industry shows a majority who think their performance has a direct impact on their paycheck. Only 8% of those who work in the sports, culture & recreation industry believe the quality of their work will affect their salary ... What about finance? Finance firms often argue that their controversially high bonuses are the key to excellence. With only 30% of financial services employees thinking their pay is linked to their performance, it is an argument which does not convince ... If employees do not believe performance drives pay, what do they think does? Is it longevity, politics, being in the right place at the right time? Whatever it is, the belief that performance has little or no impact on remuneration is disheartening and cannot possibly encourage productivity or a thriving corporate culture."So - there's the challenge.
Writing as a capitalist, I have never been in doubt that the sales-force needs to be on a (carefully structured) commission, at the very least. If you've ever been in an environment where there is reasonable visibility of the sales pipeline and a strong connection between sales in this time-period and the immediate fortunes of the company - in terms of jobs, prospects, opportunties and, if relevant, global bonus pay-outs - you'll find even junior staff caught up in hoping the sales-force brings home the bacon, and not resenting the fact they are on commission.
I've also seen some truly dysfunctional bonus schemes. But I've worked on some pretty good ones, which certainly needed careful design (and endless tweaking to eliminate unforseen consequences) but were, IMHO, evidence that reward can be made to work in the interests of the firm.
What do we reckon? Are you fired into productive action by the prospects of bonus, or do you launch into office politics in order to position yourself for the dosh? Or simply assume it's all in the lap of the Gods?