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10/10/2011

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The managerial issue is more incompetence and cowardice than ambivalence, I fear. They can't handle differentiation and are terrified of the fatal accusation of being "unfair" (unequal) in their judgements. I already had an article planned on that in the que, maybe for next week.

We in the Total Rewards trade also share some of the blame for our excessively narrow obsession on cash as the only (or principal) reinforcement reward mechanism. For perspective, please note that annual increases were relatively unheard of until after the Nixon Wage-Prize Freeze ended in 1972 during a long period of double-digit inflation. These "automatic" increases of today simply were not.

Every contact with every employee offers a supervisor (someone who actually manages people, the most difficult commodity) an opportunity to provide support, feedback, recognition, rewards and other consequences of behavior.


In my experience you're right, Jim (incompetence and cowardice), though I choose to soften my criticism. Who knows? maybe someone out there has a reasonable excuse that I haven't heard of yet.

As to post 1972 compensation administration, the lion's share of employees out there have no recollection of those days, so it doesn't relate to them. We are where we are and have to muddle forward.

Brilliant, Chuck. Very well presentation of the challenges of both the traditional appraisal process and the merit increases justified by it.

This quote in particular I liked: "After all, if you've put in your twelve months you deserve a raise at the end, don't you? Kind of automatic, especially if the average spend isn't much."

It's just that expectation that's fundamental to my argument that merit pay should be done away with and replaced with COLA increases (perhaps), raises for promotion or substantial increase in responsibility/workload, and frequent, ongoing recognition and rewards (in the moment) for actions and behaviors that set the stars above the "Joe Averages."

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