Random thought of the night: what if all non-monetary awards are replaced by monetary consolations? Like, every praise from management is about $10, every little trophy is about $100, every opportunity to go on stage to shake the CEO’s hands is $1000? What will become of an organization?
My guess is 99% of you will think that this is ridiculous, and scores of OB research and HR consultants have warned against rewarding appropriate behavior in a company with money. I must say I agree too, and I’m not here to make a case otherwise, I just thought, what if it was commensurate between one another, such that other possibilities are made available?
Here’s just a few:
1. Measure the worth of a praise
2. Measure favoritism in a company
3. Create a balance index of monetary vs non-monetary rewards
4. “Buy” non-monetary rewards (from rewards providers)
And the list goes on.
I have this thought tonight, because I am surprisingly irritated by a comment in an email, but then I am faced with a dilemma. The story is this: so some bosses want to give me an award, but the award specifically says that it comes with the responsibility to be a “role model”.
Looking at this from a pure non-monetary perspective, I can appreciate why such opportunity is taken to warn even the better performing staffs to keep it up, by evoking emotions and taking advantage of our cultural pedestals and the face losing society’s need to be upright all the time. Born more of a maverick, it’s not necessary an easy thing to accept but at least logically, I’ll accept it anyway since what’s being given is deem “precious” collectively, and the keeper should do his or her best to protect its sanctity.
But when I turned the question around and ask this question quantitatively instead of qualitatively, I realize I cannot measure this responsibility. Is it 10 man days? Well the award cost is rather huge considering the stage they have to set and the number of people’s time they have to engage to applause for the moment, but what is the cost of this “role model”?
When I was younger, I was told by my parents, that I should work hard like the an arbitrary role model, who’s basically the top student in class at the moment. Occasionally, I was told that I was the role model for a certain behavior, but there was no prize. It was a coincidental choice that suited the society’s need to conform, that was being recognized by the elders.
Thus, in order to BE a role model, one has to first identify what was that one thing in the gazillion actions the carbon compound that my mind direct around everyday did, that became the happiness of such elders to the extend of throwing a party around that behavior. It’s very tempting to reply the email and just say “uh, how to be a role model?” but that might simply solicit scorn, not the best thing to do to your superiors who has a large say on the size of your next paycheck.
Failing to identify what this role model might be, so I thought how about I measure the SIZE of the award, and find something of equivalent SIZE to do, so that it measures up? Since this whole point of non-monetary recognition is to avoid the money topic altogether, I’ll have to think of some sort of virtual currency that can be used to interchange between one another.
That’s where I got stuck and will appreciate your comments.
Some ideas (to get you going):
1. Smile currency: count the number of smiles that you received when the award was given, and return that many smiles to these people. Happiness is a critical KPI in companies these days, so additional smiles should count.
2. Awards currency: nominate an equal number of people for the same or other equivalent awards as the number of awards received, so that the cycle can persist. This is less meaningful, but it’s certainly quantitative.
3. Implied monetary currency: Set an arbitrary exchange rate, for example, 1 implied dollar = 100 actual dollars spent to for the award, including but not limited to, the publicity, the nominations, the time spent to judge, narrow down, and finally select winners, the physical award itself (usually some glass trophy), the event around the award, and all other related cost. After that, “imagine” you got a one time bonus of the amount of implied dollars that you never get to spend.
Accenting this pessimistic article is the fact that companies if not societies are still adamant in controlling human behaviors, and it drives me nuts. If taking the award requires tying one more of my joints to your marionette stings then you can take the award back.
I live and act as I want and as I believe.
And when I give you an award, I ask of nothing, if not then nothing more than continue being your true self.Share
You Should Also Check Out This Post:
- Honeymoon Diaries #3 – Pittsburgh
- Honeymoon Diaries #2 – New York City
- Honeymoon Diaries #1 - Washington D.C.
- How to vote in GE2013
- Honeymoon - Preamble
More Active Posts:
- The 12 Settings of GMail's Tea House Theme (25)
- Singapore MDA Rap Video (18)
- The Singapore PR Conundrum (18)
- Away from home for 10 Years (17)
- Wedding Dinner Emcee Script (Chinese Included) (13)
- Would you care to hire an Orchestra? (11)
- Which File Extension are You? (10)
- Fan Tai Sui 犯太岁 (10)
- Name the No-Name Condo: Kovan Symphony (10)
- Win Free Tickets to Singapore Compose Presentation Concert (9)