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The Almighty Buck IT

Ask Slashdot: Best Incentives For IT Workers? 468 468

New submitter Guru Jim writes "Our company is currently looking at our incentives program and are wondering what is out there that helps motivate IT workers. We have engineers/sys admins as well as developers. With both teams, we have guns who are great and really engaged in looking after the customers, but some of the team struggle. Sometimes it is easy to say that there isn't too much work on and goof off and read Slashdot all day. This puts more pressure on some of the team. Management is being more proactive in making sure the work is shared equally, but we are wondering what can be out there that is more carrot than stick? We already have cake day, corporate massage day, bonuses for exams and profit share, but what is out there that is innovative and helps build a great workplace?" If you're reading this, the odds are good that you work in or around IT (or hope to); what would you most like to see your workplace implement?
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Ask Slashdot: Best Incentives For IT Workers?

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  • Money (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 30, 2012 @03:12PM (#41507635)

    $ = Money

  • Motivation (Score:5, Informative)

    by anavictoriasaavedra (1968822) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @03:16PM (#41507665)
  • by dkleinsc (563838) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @03:20PM (#41507689) Homepage

    If you've given people everything they could reasonably ask for, including profit share, and they still aren't performing, then chances are they're just lazy. Solution: 1. Make it clear (privately) that they are underperforming, 2. if they are still underperforming 3-6 months later, let them know that their job is at stake, and 3. if they're still underperforming 3-6 months after that, fire them.

    There are some people who will want to contribute and provide useful effort with the appropriate carrot. But if that doesn't work, use the stick.

  • by TheEldest (913804) <> on Sunday September 30, 2012 @03:50PM (#41507941)

    I think short term rewards help more than long term.

    For my team when you're above your execution rate for a week you are eligible to work from home one day the next week. In general, no one does anything when they work from home but to be eligible, they have to get their work done in the office. It's effectively getting people to work harder 4 days a week for an extra day off.

    Obviously, this may or may not work with your environment.

  • by MindPrison (864299) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @03:53PM (#41507953) Journal

    There are two things that motivate me, and the one can't do without the other, both motivation condition must be met for me to thrive at work:

    1) A good salary, so I can work and save towards my biggest dreams, I have to have something to chase.

    2) An interesting assignment, an interesting project. This is what makes me WANT to go to work every day.

    Here is what works, and what doesn't work:
    What doesn't work:
    Telling me that every job is interesting, and that I should be interested when I am not.
    Faking interest.
    Fake team spirit. (I'd like to work with MOTIVATED co-workers that actually take a great interest in their job, passion if you like!)
    Fake motivation. Don't even try, your employees can see through you like you're made of glass, the only reason they smile at your ideas are that you are directly responsible for their paychecks.

    What DOES work:
    Honesty, above all. Always be 100% honest towards your employees, fail at this, and we will be sure to look elsewhere, and one day you'll fail severely because your ego blinds your eyes. So keep honest, always share everything, don't fake, lie or hide. People are more forgiving than you may think.
    Interesting projects. What's interesting to you may not be that interesting to me, sure - I am a professional, so I'll do the job regardless, but don't ask me to fake interest. Just trust me that I'll do a good job anyway, because I can and will...which brings us to the next level:
    Trust me, trust your employees. The single best thing you can do for your employees are to really trust them. If they deliver, they deliver, nothing magical about that. We're all in this boat called YOUR Company anyway, and no one of us have ANY interest in letting it sink, so why should we perform worse if you don't constantly nag, create reports and call into personal meetings?
    Don't believe that we'll sit there and surf the web because we really want to surf the web, this is something most of us can do at home, and if we do it at work, it is to relieve stress, and to keep up to date with an otherwise perhaps important network...yes...this could potentially be your next employee even. Many of us keep up to date with technology this way, we're paid professionals, just don't expect us to do that work at home too, we do it because it's our passion. Force is NOT the way.

    Remember, a little understanding *and DO NOT TRY TO FAKE UNDERSTANDING* will go a really long way. Most IT workers are above average when it comes to intelligence (albeit, in some can really dispute and wonder about this). So when you try to explain to us why you have to cut back on bonuses, perks or whatever - tell the TRUTH, especially if you know the truth is going to sting a bit, if we discover that you lied, oh boy...mistake!

    That's it really, some clean honesty.

  • by dynamo52 (890601) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @07:53PM (#41509259)

    I call bullshit.

    Judging by your previous posts, the politics you appear to embrace are much too aligned with the United States tea party types to truly represent any western European citizen I have ever known. First of all, Ive never seen any European refer to California as "Kalifornia" and there aren't many European global warming deniers either. If you do live in western Europe as you say, you are likely an American abroad, not invested in the social contract of your host nation, and simply projecting your provincial misunderstandings upon your current home. In this case, my guess is that there are very few around you who would share your opinions.

Experiments must be reproducible; they should all fail in the same way.