Ramona E. F. Arnett Quotes

Sales and production work is amenable to merit pay. Try it with white collar knowledge workers, teachers, government officials, computer programmers and writers and you have a disaster after your first assessments. Merit pay requires performance measurement, and that means ranking staff. The half that come out below average are immediately angry at the system that labels them as below average. The second quartile looks at the first quartile and finds colleagues who to them are little or no better than they, and a few who don’t work as hard. Some of the people who are at the top and get bonuses like the system that is so perspicacious as to reward them. However, most in the top quartile because they don’t agree that the ones who rank higher than they are really any better become negative. So over 75 percent of the workforce is unhappy and thinks the system is invalid or the raters are biased or just arbitrary. Before you ever consider installing merit pay, find an organization like yours that has it and talk to the workers—not the executives—those who have been assessed for their merit.

 
Context
Her company employed white collar writers, editors, computer programmers and engineers, statisticians, and medical personal who conducted research and training programs for government and private institutions. See {619265} for a concurring view from the nation’s leading productivity expert.
Citations

Ramona E. F. Arnett, Management Expert & Corporate Executive, Chief Precinct Election Judge, Montgomery County, Maryland, Speech to other executives on her company’s experience with merit pay, January 12, 2006

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