Saturday, March 1, 2008

Paying your people

It's no secret that people go from one company to the next, to the next, and so on. This is even more common in the IT industry.

Most people leave because of the following:
  1. the company is on shaky ground
  2. bad management (stressing the employees, giving them too much work, overtime, and so on)
  3. treating them like average
If you're in case 1. or 2., you're company is hopeless. However, most companies (especially outsourcing companies) are in case 3.

You're in a company of type 3. if
  • you don't have a bonus system
  • you don't get paid overtime more than usual hours or you don't get paid overtime at all
  • if you perform good or very good, there's no message from above; only when your work is less than average, then you're marked as "bad employee"
In such companies, people learn to just do what's expected of them (enough not to get fired). Quality then tends to be average.

These companies are setting themselves for disaster - it might take 10 or more years, but it'll happen. They'll make room for the new companies - where people are rewarded for doing good work. And this will actually make people be more responsible.

When doing a project, a good company will think and plan for bonuses from the start. This sends an amazing message: you do great work, you get rewarded.

Of course, not everybody is fit for such a company. But if you're in charge of one, you'll also be able to filter out the average. And more to the point, your people will stop leaving.

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