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This is an important topic. While admittedly some managers have had inadequate training in basic supervision, the vast majority simply choose to ignore the recommended disciplined methods because they are hard, uncomfortable and painful in the short run. Pay programs are most frequently used as an excuse for bad management because it's easier and frequently better for the boss that way.

Those who run a comfortable overstaffed country club with low expectations and high pay will gain a following of supporters, even among executives who will grant them more status and fat bonuses for positive morale, high retention, bigger payroll budgets and low turnover. Of course, their oversized and underproductive empires will tend to crumble eventually, but most escape by promotion or jump ship before it sinks.

Top management doesn't hold them fully accountable for human resource management because there is a separate department for that! Remember, most MBA courses spend more time on finance courses than on compensation (if at all). Performance management is becoming a lost art, omitted from academic classes and dropped from certification programs. Leaders who don't practice good leadership habits are the biggest problem already, and it will only get worse. It's basic Pipe/Mager stuff, dealing with the balance of consequences.

Keep yelling about it!

Great article! I worked for a manager that operated this way. Throwing money at us didn't work for me - that's not what motivated me. But the more I tried to explain that the more I came to realize that the manager just didn't want to be bothered. This wasn't good for morale and everyone started leaving pretty quickly. THis can be a costly mistake for an organization and you explain very well why this is so.

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