I must agree with Michael Le Boeuf who said that, “behaviour that is rewarded is behaviour that is repeated”.
People do not follow the “written” rules, or “enshrined” values. We learn very quickly how “things are done around here,” and adapt our behaviour to maximise the returns.
But what if the culture is outdated, old-fashioned or unhealthy? The pattern persists. It seems that we need to live our values, and only publish them if they are already emblazoned on the hearts of all employees. if we desire integrity, we should be the same at home, at the office and at church on Sunday.
In Australia, people are mostly paid weekly – not weakly, as the joke may go – whereas many South Africans are used to a monthly salary, irrespective of performance. In this economy, expect that to change. Expect target-driven remuneration, and enjoy it.
I have mostly found that people paid per hour (including consultants) don’t work as efficiently as those paid per project or task. SAS, a large IT firm based in Cary, North Carolina, ask their employees to put in a 35-hour week. Their measurement is based on producing excellent work, irrespective of when the work was done. The result? People are happier. They might play Waterpolo at lunch, and thus return to their desks revitalised in summer heat. People are at their motivated best when the target is clear and something they value.
It is worth considering how to structure our own work, and that of our co-workers, so as to maximise motivation.