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Who works for a bonus?

Small Dutch news: workers in home care structurally get paid less hours than they work. About one third of their actual working time is not paid.


Bigger news from America: paying bonuses to executives and others who do their work well when their jobs need entrepreneurship and creativity is useless. Creativity and entrepreneurship are not encouraged by awarding bonuses - they might even be nipped in the bud!


"Performance-based pay can actually have dangerous outcomes for companies that implement it", conclude the two researchers who published their article in the Harvard Business Review. That creativity and entrepreneurship do not prosper through greater reward seems obvious. The new CEO of Deutsche Bank, John Cryan, is clear about it: "I have no idea why I was offered a contract with a bonus in it, for I can assure you that I will not work harder or less hard, because someone will pay me more or less.” 


This might raise some significant questions for those who claim that the use of bonuses for top executives and top performers is necessary. Inner motivation is much, much more important than an external stimulus. Both the Dutch home care aides and CEOs like John Cryan show it: money doesn’t motivate people, people work because they love to do what they can, because they see the need for it.


To do that work, they obviously need a basic material means of existence. In that respect it is a pity that not everyone is a CEO!


John Hogervorst

February 2016 


Image: Aman Thind

John  |  2016 02 29  |  Permalink  |  Share


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