I Was Wrong. Pay for Performance Doesn’t Work!

Stickman I was wrong p4p doesnt workYou may want to disregard nearly everything I’ve ever posted here. As it turns out, I may not know anything about pay for performance. Recently, I brought someone new onto my team. This guy seemed like a great match for the position. He’s good looking, has a strong intellect along with a very unique skill set. He is exactly what we needed on the team. But now, a few weeks in, I am realizing that he is a narcissist. You may even call him a crybaby. The frustrating fact is that he simply isn’t motivated by any of the P4P plans I have offered. I am not exactly sure what attracted him to this gig and often can’t figure out how to get him to do things when and how they need to be done.

This whole process has made me look a little deeper into this relationship. Many smart people have said that when things aren’t working you must go back to the basics.

I have taken a look at what he can do on his best days and I am often overwhelmed by his deliverables. He can literally shock me with the impact he has. At other times, he falls asleep in the middle of the day and only seems to care about eating when he is awake. Given the quality of work when he is at his best, I have decided to focus on providing good food and making him comfortable. But is this really a solution? The hope is that his great times will continue to outweigh his difficult times.

Since we have started this new approach things have gotten much better. He seems far happier and willing to work as part of the team. He is also more willing to focus on the things I ask him to, instead of just doing what he wants while I hope for the best. I look forward to reintroducing the concept of pay for performance at a later date. Maybe we will revisit this at his one-year anniversary. Until then, I think I can manage the situation to get the best from him by just dealing with the lowest levels of his “hierarchy of needs.”

I guess I shouldn’t be too demanding. After all, he is the new guy on a team that has worked together for years. And, at only 7.5 weeks old, my son Greyden is probably due a little slack while he gets up to speed. Making sure his needs are met before I demand he meet mine, just makes sense. He is happier. I am happier. And, his mom is WAY happier.

When looking at your incentive plans it can sometimes feel like you are dealing with a bunch of crybabies who won’t perform even when motivated with great pay and other incentives. Before you go down this negative path, remember Greyden. If you start by giving your people what they need to thrive, they may be far more open to meeting your goals. This is especially true when money is involved. I am sure even Greyden will agree in a few years.