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Great post. I'd also add a thought...Look at behaviors versus outcomes. People can only control behaviors and that is what you really want. Outcomes are the manifestations of behaviors but when you only measure outcomes you're really communicating "we don't care how you hit your goal just hit it!"

Thank you, Paul. That's an excellent reminder that we need to choose what we want to reward. Rewarding behavior alone may not lead to the desired outcomes. But that may be preferable to rewarding only outcomes, which may lead to bizarre or undesirable behavior.

Excellent post Laura! You've nicely nailed the key reasons that the milquetoast version of "pay-for-performance" (annual "merit" pay) that most organizations practice has very little impact on performance-related behavior and outcomes.


Hi Laura. I've never had a cup of coffee in my life! Thanks for taking my side . . .

You got the quote wrong.

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