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Paying for Performance: How to Reward Productivity and Elevate Engagement

Under a pay-for-performance system, employees get rewarded for the right reason: job excellence.

Paying for performance removes the subjectivity from compensation by establishing structured ways to measure an individual’s:

  • performance
  • productivity
  • results

How? Instead of showing you, we’d like to tell you a story …

Meet William

Male employee

Every company has a William. Ever the go-getter, he looks like a model employee, because he:

  • comes to work early and leaves late
  • follows the rules and dresses the part
  • speaks up and pays attention in meetings
  • organizes office fundraisers, co-worker baby showers and Boss’s Day gifts

What he doesn’t have, however, is high productivity. He knows it, too, but believes his optics-conscious engagement makes up for his lack of performance.

Meet Jennifer

Every company has a Jennifer, too. She also follows the rules; unlike William, she isn’t showy about it. She also is:

  • less concerned with appearance
  • focused on working to the best of her abilities
  • a quiet type who keeps to herself
  • prefers to let her work do the talking

But is anybody listening? When – and if – management takes time to notice, they’re wowed by her work. Clearly, what she appears to lack in engagement, she more than makes up for in performance.

Getting the best of both

If you could reward either William or Jennifer with a raise, whom would you choose? The one who appears more engaged, yet whose performance is low, or the one who appears disengaged, yet whose performance is high?

Luckily, under a pay-for-performance system, you don’t have to choose. You also can fix both issues:

  • Jennifer will appreciate being rewarded for her hard work and quality results. As a result, engagement will follow.
  • William will see that he can’t skate by on appearances alone. As a result, his performance will be elevated.

To learn more about enacting this practice in your workplace, download our free white paper, Pay for Performance: Inspiring Your Best Employees to Be Happy, Productive and Profitable.