Reward the Productive Pupil

Productivity has different meanings. I was asked a question when I attended primary school. It was simply “what do you want to be when you grow up?” I answered with absolute surety that I was going to be a scientist (so I could turn into Spiderman but that’s beside the point) and that was that. The teacher smiled, my response was termed ‘productive’ and I got a gold star. Off I went to show my parents who couldn’t have been be prouder.

We continue to get ‘gold stars’ throughout our adolescent years. Enough of these allow you to progress. We pass matric, which gets us into a tertiary learning institution. We graduate, expecting to reach our next milestone. Hopefully, this is our first job.

The Job Search

It took me 7 months of searching and many interviews to find my first job. It wasn’t the job I had dreamt of but it was a start. Starting a new job is very daunting and its obvious you are at the bottom of the food chain. It was clearly obvious who ran the show in their respective departments. As time went by, I tried to figure out what set them apart from the rest. Their attitude, their work ethic, their extroverted nature all came and went. Finally, I settled on a reason they all had in common; the longest serving members of the team.

The more I researched the more this pattern became the rule; time spent working in a field equals your experience. I understand the logic, but ultimately it is majorly flawed. Task completion is not rewarded directly and thus it is promoting the culture of ‘doing the minimum required’.

Productivity is VALID

What if companies implemented a task based rewards system? A simple concept, yet rarely implemented. This would mean employees are now incentivised to work consistently throughout the day and performance is tracked on a day to day basis. Managers would be able to identify strengths and weaknesses in employees. Thus, they can manage their teams more efficiently.

Not only does this benefit the company but it also benefits the employee. The regular reviewing process will allow the employee to receive feedback. Improvement naturally stems and your company benefits as a result. The productive employees will be rewarded through promotions, meaning eventually the best employees will be running your company. Not the ones who have simply been there the longest. The collection of this so-called data will serve as a black and white conversation over staff performance, promotion and salary negotiations. No longer will both parties be ‘thumb-sucking’ at annual performance reviews.

Organisations welcome innovation. Begin implementing productivity procedures, and allow your company to reach its full potential. Remember, you’re never too old or experienced for ‘Gold Stars’.