Q. I am the hiring manager of a local consulting firm. At the beginning of the year, I promised my staff that if we reached our target — which we’ve surpassed — the firm would give them a raise of five per cent of their basic salary. Our two directors had agreed to this but one has now changed his mind and has, instead, proposed a fixed figure increase for all staff. What should I do? I don’t want to create bad blood between us or to betray my staff.
The temptation to appease teams by granting uniform reward to individuals regardless of their performance ensnares many organisations.
It nearly always benefits poor performers, causes disenchantment among high performers and throws a spanner in the works of building a performance- oriented culture.
It is not equal reward but equal opportunity to earn a reward consistent with one’s results that nurtures a climate of fairness and a culture of performance.
Apathy towards appreciating excellent results and the lack of managerial courage to confront poor performance breeds a culture of mediocrity.
It is, however, important that results be assessed alongside positive behaviour that exemplify the culture of an organisation.
Tolerating toxic high performers is just as pernicious as babysitting poor performers in undermining the long-term success of an organisation.
Approach your supervisor and present the issue, seeking his thoughts concerning the poor effect the latter decision is likely to have on your team and the organisation. Listen and understand the reasons that prompted him to change his mind; there might be some pertinent background information you are presently not privy to.
If everyone is granted the uniform pay increase yet your team has clearly outperformed them, consider seeking additional reward for your team’s contribution. Remember that your team’s engagement and performance cannot solely be anchored to a payslip.
Articulate your case with the aim of enabling the directors to make the right choices for the business, bearing in mind the statement by Mick Delany: “Any business or industry that pays equal rewards to its goof-offs and eager beavers sooner or later will find itself with more goof-offs than eager beavers.”