Contrarian View of Performance Evaluation

 

Is it best to use a carrot or a stick?
Here is an interesting, yet contrarian, point of view on how to make performance evaluation more effective.
Daniel Hammermesh, as frequent contributor to the Freakonomics blog, wrote a post entitled Carrots or Sticks? Handicapped Parking Edition. He tells of a handicapped parking sign in Luxomberg which reads “Here is parking for a very handicapped person or a very inconsiderate (unscrupulous) person.” He thought that this might be more “motivating” than the $50 fine to get people to stop illegally parking in a spot they are not supposed to use without proper permission. He says he thinks SHAME would be more effective.
He once suggested to a journal that rather than rewarding the fastest referees (people who read and grade articles submitted for publication) with recognition and money they should instead publish the list of the slowest referees. If we transfer this concept to the workplace rather than rewarding our workers to make the more effective we would shame the very poor workers to make them work harder. Think that will work?
Just as I am sure you are probably answering a resounding “NO” to that suggestion the journal also gave Mr. Hammermesh a big “thumbs down” vote. It would be interesting to poll your supervisors and see how many of them might vote with Hammermesh…. My guess is, more than you would like to think.

3 thoughts on “Contrarian View of Performance Evaluation”

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