Monday, October 18, 2004

A rant

Following up on a nice tea on Saturday with TYM, in which the following topic was mentioned (albeit in a different form), I just had to get this off my chest.

It’s about work, and how busyness is often mistaken for the sign of a good worker.

To me, a good worker is one who gets the job done, whichever (ethical) way he does it. I don’t care if he spends 16 hours a day 7 days a week doing it or just finishes the job in one highly efficient spurt of 4 hours. (No, actually, I do. I think the one who spent the huge amount of time is inefficient and should be the first to go in the next reorganisation because that fellow is obviously in the wrong job. As far as possible people ought to be in jobs they can do well). So busyness is not necessarily a good thing. And people who put in 110% but get the same work done as those who only put in 80% are not necessarily better workers. Equal pay for equal work done, I say.

This brings me to the next point, which is about rewards. I would like my rewards for my work to be substantial. That could mean keeping my job when everyone else around me is losing theirs. Or it could mean getting a steady salary. Or it might even mean perks at the local Community Club. Priests and missionaries get their rewards in Heaven. I want mine here and now.

This doesn’t mean I won’t work for rewards in Heaven - I will if the Big Boss chucks me into the belly of a Big Fish. But while I’m here working for Men I expect to be compensated accordingly. And that means if I’m expected to put in extra effort I expect to see extra pay. Or other compensation.

Which brings me to my final point. Compensation comes in many forms. Material wealth and social recognition are both good categories of compensation. Personal satisfaction is also good (and probably the ideal we should strive to, but it doesn’t pay the bills). And the key to getting the best out of your workers? Give them what they want, and they’ll give you what you want.

Otherwise, back off and stop polluting my air.

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