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01/31/2012

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Agree with your distinctions but maybe not with all your points re your example of airline pilots. Granted, it is easier to standardize pay for pilots than for sales clerks due to your identified factors, but the impact of variable engagement is far more serious among pilots. A bored or distracted pilot can make the headlines easily with negative behaviors, even though it takes a rare bird like Sully to get positive rave reviews for piloting.


Perhaps the differences lie in the similarly narrow range of engagement required of pilots in order to maintain the accepted high standard level of performance. Sales clerks don't require a narrow (and high) engagement level to be acceptable, while pilots do. Most elite teams seem to share that characteristic, where their individual high engagement levels drives and reinforces high retention levels.

@Jim - I couldn't agree more that we don't want actively disengaged pilots! I like your comment about narrow range, that's a helpful distinction.

I wonder how many people noticed how funny the picture is? It's spot-on relevant to your article.

@Tom - Thanks for noticing. I think it really underlines the point that although we don't want to fly with disengaged pilots, we also don't want them having so much fun they forget to look where they're going! It's a fine line.

Incentive measures, such as salaries, secondary benefits, and intangible rewards, recognition or sanctions have
traditionally been used to motivate employees to increase performance. Motivators may be positive and/or
negative. Reducing dis-incentives or perverse incentives that favour non-conducive behaviour, can often be
more important than inventing new incentives. Incentive systems reside within organizations, their structure,
rules, human resource management, opportunities, internal benefits, rewards and sanctions, etc. Whether based
on perception or reality, organizational incentive systems do have a significant influence on the performance of
individuals and thus the organization overall. Perhaps the most pervasive structural motivators and incentives
are located at the societal level, such as security, rule of law, investment climate, civil service pay or legislation
conducive to civic engagement.

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