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Reward Systems: Does Yours Measure Up? (Memo to the CEO) Hardcover – December 1, 2008
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There are several issues missing - or at least not fully realized, in this book, though it does contain some very true insight into failed rewards systems, such as those that start out claiming to reward outstanding performance but degenerate into mere attendance contests (a sure sign that management is either too busy, lazy or out of touch with its employees on a personal level).
One of the missing issues is favoritism. People are human, whether they are CEOs or the custodial staff and they respond more positively to those who make them feel good about themselves. They also cannot help but become somewhat biased toward those they know over those they don't know. That is why the first people in a large organization to receive awards are those in their immediate field of vision -- a phenomenon I have witnessed time and time again. Kerr does allude to the fact that, even in a quantifiable reward system, it must be taken into consideration that the playing field is not always level for the candidates -- but what also factors in is that the "favorites", or to put it more charitably, the "high-profile" persons, are often going to get the better chances?
That is not to say that this book does not have value. Kerr does acknowledge flawed systems and, most importantly, points out that there are employees being rewarded for the wrong behavior. There will always be people who figure out how to work the system. That is absolutely true.Read more ›
To begin with, the book talks about a scientist working with rats. He literally yells at the rats for "not doing what he wanted." Finally he realized his EXPERIMENT was flawed - that he was not rewarding the rats well, so they naturally were not doing the desired behavior. Once he gave them good rewards, they went for them. So for example imagine a maze with pieces of chalk at the end (assuming rats hate chalk ;) ). The rats would not make any attempt to go for it. If instead you had a really lovely cheese at the end, the rat would now try to get it. The book is saying that humans are the same way. If you have "rewards" that nobody wants, you cannot be surprised when the employees do not even try to get them. You need rewards they really do want in order to movtivate them.
The book launches into a long discussion about mission statements and then metrics of how to measure which employees should get a reward. It points out that measurements should be about improving performance. It talks about rating vs ranking - i.e. giving each employee an independent quality level, or putting them all into a long line from top to bottom.Read more ›
The Power of Reward Systems
Step 1: Define Performance in Actionable Terms
Step 2: Devise Comprehensive Metrics
Step 3: Create Reward Systems That Work
What To Do Monday Morning
About the Author
At 136 pages, Kerr doesn't have a lot of time and space for fluff and philosophical ramblings. As such, the material is concise, direct, and ready for application. First, you need to get rid of the fluffy and lofty visions and goals that can't be nailed down in terms of "did we achieve it or not?" If a vision of "become the best company" doesn't have actions and behaviors associated with it, then it just won't happen. Next, set up the measurements that can be monitored and applied to the actions. Here's where many run into problems. It's a popular exercise today to "rank" all employees in order to weed out the low performers. Conceptually, it sounds effective, but it's loaded with landmines. For instance, all salesmen may be ranked against each other. Bob outsells Bill by a 2-to-1 factor. But that ranking doesn't take into account that Bob's territory is populated with high-income individuals, while Bill is selling to blue-collar workers. In terms of effectiveness, Bill might be a much better salesman that Bob, but his territory will never allow him to generate Bob-like sales.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This has to be the quickest business book I've ever read. Steve Kerr writes like he's giving a pep talk - not a "you're doing fine! Read morePublished on April 25, 2013 by J. Loscheider
There is a lot of wisdom in this relatively small book (136 pages). It's written by Steve Kerr, the former chief learning office at General Electric and Goldman... Read more
I found myself agreeing with a lot of the points this author as I read it. I will admit I am not in management at this time but could see problems with Senior Management converting... Read morePublished on June 25, 2009 by Average Joe
Steve Kerr, former chief learning officer for General Electric and Goldman Sachs, has written a short book on Reward Systems: Does Yours Measure Up? Read morePublished on May 30, 2009 by Dennis Doverspike
In this compact volume, Steve Kerr has given readers an excellent primer on reward systems. Step-by-step, Kerr walks us through a chronological process to develop a reward system. Read morePublished on March 16, 2009 by Michael Lee Stallard
Don't let the modest title fool you: this book is profound, important -- and relevant to just about anyone who wants to get something done with the help of other people. Read morePublished on March 7, 2009 by Stratford Sherman
So, this is apparently a book that is part of a series of books designed for the busy business manager/executive. This small, 150-page, 4" x 2. Read morePublished on March 4, 2009 by V. K. Lin
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ѾѾѾѾ Recommended with warm fuzzies.
As someone who has managed various teams over the years, I enjoyed this quick read. Read more
The author is correct in asserting that if you are having problems with employees and are experiencing dysfunctional behaviors- it is your problem as a manager and not theirs. Read morePublished on January 20, 2009 by Renee Aubuchon