Out of 10,000 U.S. workers polled, 52 percent say they do not get paid more for doing a better job. Should you get more pay for doing a better job? I believe you should. If you do more than the average bear, then you should get paid more than the average bear. The future is in pay-for-performance. This is going to happen, not because it is the vogue thing to do; it is going to happen as a necessity for the most successful companies. Unless you are in a government job where pay-for-performance is not yet an option, you will be expected to perform to get any additional money and often to avoid job loss. What can you do?
Jim Rohn (a successful entrepreneur) says: "Don't be caught in the 21st century with only one skill." You must learn more than one skill in the future to survive and certainly to thrive in the NEW workforce that is emerging. I worked many years in government and found that pay increases quickly became entitlements instead of rewards. This philosophy rewards low or no performance. How can you expect the good workers in your organization to continue to go above and beyond when they receive the same compensation and opportunities as everyone else, regardless of performance? Or, what if your rising stars aren't rising anymore? Bonuses are not necessarily the answer. Even bonuses begin to feel like a right or an entitlement after a while. Consider automatic pay raises to be a thing of the past in your organization. You have all heard the phrase, "You get what you pay for.”
How about we up the ante a bit and pay for what we get and no more? Consider also that end-of- the-year bonuses are not the best method either. Pay-for-performance as soon after the performance obtains results. Keep employees focused on the future and being paid for performing in the present. There is no greater insult than to pay employees the same when one is performing in a substandard manner. Stop rewarding bad performance with entitlement pay. Watch your organization change before your very eyes.
Oh, and before I forget it, for those who say, “But we are in a non-profit organization…" I suggest you get creative and find a way to make this happen. One last thought. Everyone in your organization should learn to be a salesman of your product or service. They must be willing to bring in additional revenue and value, thus helping to keep the doors open, no matter what the economic climate. Also, if you are not providing at least a one-page document stating the benefits you provide your employees, they will decide the grass is greener somewhere else, and good employees will leave you. You may be saying, “I provide great benefits.” If your employees don't see or recognize these benefits, then it doesn't matter what you think. Now, go out and pay your people what they are worth, but not a penny more.