Conferences, Congress and Cash… 3 Posts in One
It’s the week of Thanksgiving. Meaning there are fewer days of work but the same amount of work.
Because of the reduced “hours” and not-so-reduced “work” something get’s compressed and that something is this blog.
Today- three ideas – writ short – to compress the work. Hope they make sense in their concentrated formula.
My Conference Schedule 2011… #HRevolution and FOT
Asking questions. Listening to answers. Hearing new points of view. Not talking. Letting conversations evolve. Hearing contrary points of view. Hearing questions from non-experts who just want truth – not sales pitches. Being with people that have a passion for their profession. Watching people actively work on being better at their job and as people.
That is the oxygen that drives my curiosity and my recommendations to clients.
That is what makes life and business fun.
That is what I can’t get enough of.
I urge all my subscribers and anyone who happens across this post to check out their respective sites. If you’re a practitioner in HR – these two conferences will change your life. #FACT.
If you’re in the incentive industry and you’re reading this – you should attend to hear the truth about what is on the minds of HR professionals. Be a sponsor – throw in some dollars and then throw in some time listening. You will be a better company for it in the long run.
Our Legislative Branch – Rewards and Punishments Out of Whack
The recent Charlie Rangel debacle got me thinking. Here’s an elected official to one of the highest levels of our country’s political hierarchy accused of 11 counts of “ethical wrongdoing” (what a euphemism) and the "punishment" is reprimand? Really - "reprimand"? I guess staying after session and clapping erasers was too harsh.
This isn’t a comment on Rangel personally – it is a comment on the disconnect between rewards and punishment.
Here’s my point – when the rewards of a job (like those for Senators, Congress people, President) are large – good salary, good benefits, cars, expense accounts, free mail – can you say Franking Privileges – the punishments for violating trust in that position should be commensurate. However, when the punishment is “reprimand” it seems a bit out of whack to me.
From my experience, the entire equation in corporate America is backwards – the punishment for those at the bottom of the hierarchy are very stiff (mostly getting fired – which is a very big hit) yet the rewards are pretty pedestrian. Compare that to the perks at the top of the pyramid which are typically are excessive and the punishments are at best – inconvenient but hardly damning.
In a well run organization shouldn’t the reward/punishment thing be a bit more balanced? Check your own company… do the top dogs get more good stuff and much less bad stuff? I’m guessing yes.
To me an elected official in our top levels of government who is found guilty of 11 counts of anything bad should be shown the door with their box of personal effects in their arms – including that dying plant and their red stapler. Just sayin.
I’ve seen a few more posts on some of the Linkedin Groups I follow with more of the “cash don’t motivate” spam coming from providers of merchandise awards. They lump gift cards into that pile since they have dollar denominations on them.
For those that believe that – it’s crap.
Cash motivates just fine. In fact too much. And that’s the problem. Any provider that says cash don’t motivate – check their grammar and then check them out. Cash is an effective motivator if applied correctly (which it rarely is outside of compensation.)
Here’s a study showing that just the mere image of a dollar sign stimulates the reward centers of the brain and increases the subject’s motivation. To quote the article:
"The study, published in the Journal of Neuroscience, identified a brain region about two inches above the left eyebrow that sprang into action whenever study participants were shown a dollar sign—a predetermined cue that a correct answer on the task at hand would result in a financial reward.
Using what researchers believe are short bursts of dopamine—the brain’s chemical reward system—the brain region then began coordinating interactions between the brain’s cognitive control and motivation networks, apparently priming the brain for a looming 'show me the money' situation.
'The surprising thing we see is that motivation acts in a preparatory manner,' says Adam Savine, lead author of the study and a doctoral candidate in psychology at Washington University in St. Louis. 'This region gears up when the money cue is on.'"
Cash is a fungible reward mechanism in our society. Get over it and get on with it.
There are many situations where cash and money are appropriate awards – there are even more situations where it is not. That’s the key folks – right tool, right time.
Don’t take a merchandise or travel salesperson’s word for it – their goal is to sell stuff and they don’t sell cash.
So that’s your Thanksgiving Melange…
Be safe this week and I hope you all connect with family and friends and remember that is the absolute best reward you can get.