Posted by Chuck Csizmar | Posted in Articles, Universal Compensation | Posted on 21-10-2015
Yep, just push that EASY button of simplistic, no-thought, one-size-fits-all logic, and like a snake oil concoction sold by con artists the promise was that you’d start feeling better tomorrow. Or as soon as those making the promises have gotten safely out of town.
Why is it that some people always think that the reason behind almost every employee issue is that the pay is wrong? Simple and uncomplicated reasoning, I suppose. Just the way we like to solve our problems. Therefore the logical and easy-to-understand solution is to pay more.
Like a pebble caught in your shoe, all you have to do is flick your problem(s) away.
Life is More Than A + B = C
Sometimes though, you really need to look beyond the simplistic to find the REAL problem. Placing band aids on symptoms will not be a cure-all for what ails you. Instead, by masking the hurt you might be making things worse by focusing in the wrong direction. Really harmful problems need time to fester before they erupt into crisis, so band aids often become misguided placebos to make one think that things are getting better. Or will soon.
When managers complain about a sales incentive system, the answer could be the compensation. It could also be territory size, unreasonable targets, poor product quality, administrative errors, inadequate training, etc. It isn’t always about pay.
When turnover statistics worsen, the organization’s supposed low pay becomes the “kicking boy” for why employees have left. However studies have consistently shown that to be a false logic, which if left unchallenged could direct attention away from the real problem.
Many of my clients have assumed that their problem was pay; that they should be improving pay in some fashion. But that isn’t always the case. In fact, more often than not the problem isn’t pay. However, using pay as an easy target of complaint is simple to explain, offers the chance of “more for me” and often succeeds in getting employees and even senior management to mindlessly nod their heads. Because perhaps they don’t want to dig a little bit deeper. Perhaps they just want the immediate problem to go away – and they think that more pay would do just that. No fuss, no muss.
The Ease of Chasing a Distraction
Many times pointing the finger at pay is serving up a distraction for those whose primary interest is in dealing with a quick fix. It’s similar to a dictator who risks war with a neighboring country simply to hide the fact that their own economy is near collapse. Illusionists call it a sleight of hand. Those using this practice will have you looking at everything and everywhere but where the real culprit is – or should be.
So when your foot hurts, don’t rush to throw out your shoes. Think about it. Maybe it’s only a pebble that could easily be removed. But maybe the problem isn’t what you think it is. Maybe it isn’t what you want it to be. Maybe the problem is more ingrained within the organization, more complex and doesn’t offer a quick fix solution.
To make things right maybe you’ll have to conduct some research, spend a little time considering possible ramifications, unintended consequences and roll-on effects. So talk to affected employees, gather a wider perspective from those closest to the sore points, delve into the weeds, get behind the symptoms and understand the root causes.
Because offering more incentive dollars to the sales force when quotas are unreasonable isn’t going to get you anywhere.
So don’t simply kick the can of problems down the road, because that can will roll to a stop and you’ll be facing the same challenges again and again. Problems will not go away by themselves. Instead, if left ignored they tend to worsen. And if your quick-fix solution addresses only a symptom and not the real problem, then you’re wasting time and money while what really ails you will fester and grow ever more difficult to resolve.
You may think that your problem is like a pesky little pebble in your shoe. Have a care that you could be seriously wrong.