As you review last year’s business results, you’re likely working with your leadership team to help its members develop 2015 stretch goals for themselves and their organizations. However, since most executives think that goals motivate, they believe wrongly that a stretch goal has the added value of challenging people to do more than they otherwise would.
We’re in the midst of bonus season. Before you sign those checks, think about this: While money can be an effective motivator, bonuses frequently fail to deliver incentives for better performance. Worse still, they may punish the best performers.
It’s time for the annual budget game. You know the drill. Ask for twice as much as you need so you’ll get enough. Hide some “fat” that you can cut when ordered to trim down. Then spend your full allocation because if you don’t, next year’s budget may be reduced.
Managing "to" results instead of "by" results can cause executives to chase the wrong goal, resulting in near obsession to hold managers accountable without paying any attention to the behaviors underneath the results.
It’s no secret: Many successful businesses are slow to change. There are hundreds of examples in which corporations have rejected ideas and products that have been left to entrepreneurs to make successful. However, those most affected by this seeming resistance to change are successful organizations; the resistance stems from the fact that what they are doing works.
Stack ranking, a 30+-year-old, controversial HR practice, blazed into the headlines recently with Yahoo’s announcement of implementing a form of stack ranking in its quarterly performance review process. Meanwhile, Microsoft, which has been widely criticized by the public and its own employees for using stack ranking, saw the light, with its plan to eliminate its rank and yank system. All of which suggests that it’s a good time to review stack ranking.