Saturday, February 12, 2011

Is Being Cowed Motivating To You?

A list hit the fan last night at work. Pasted on the desk that everybody stops by to pick up their calling assignments, it shows with color-coded ranks how well all the evening-shift employees are performing with respect to each other and the goal set for us by the department. Green for good, yellow for not bad but below the level, red for terrible. For those who read my last post, you can imagine how I feel about this, especially when the shift manager said (and I quote) "It's supposed to motivate."

Motivate? If by motivate you mean cowing me into submission to make me work harder, than perhaps it could motivate. Or if you feel it's motivating to be told that your best work isn't good enough, then sure, it might be motivating.

I work hard. I put all my effort into recruiting people to come in and donate, and the only numbers this is looking at are how many people I schedule appointments for and how many of those show up to the appointments I set. I do my best to bring people in when I'm on the shift as well as when I'm off the clock.

Where do I sit on the list? I'm number fifty out of fifty-one employees.

That is not motivating. That is discouraging. All this list is telling me is that my best work is not good enough. If my best isn't good enough, why should I try at all? If me doing all that I can do to succeed is considered failure, then why should I try at all? Why waste the effort?

I'd say that this list is having quite the reverse effect that is intended, and not just for myself. Of the other employees who have voiced their opinions on this list within my hearing, none of them are happy with it (and by one of my previous statements, you should be able to tell that if there are multiple people grumbling about it, then these are people who are placing higher than myself on the list).

I did have the opportunity to speak with those employees who are on either side of me, slots forty-nine and fifty-one, and neither of them feel this list is any indication of how hard people work, only an indication of how lucky they are. This is not a list to show who is doing their job and who is going to be walking the plank, it's a list of who you should try to sit next to so that their luck rubs off.

If anything, this list tells me the people I should cut off at the ankles, because if they were rabbits, their feet would be in high demand.