Adam Grant / Linkedin
El nuevo programa de incentivos para sus colaboradores que anunció United Airlines la semana pasada, es una muestra de lo que NO hay que hacer para motivar a las personas en el trabajo. En este artículo, Adam Grant, analiza por qué el «sistema de lotería» que quiere aplicar la aerolínea podría ser contraproducente en relación a los resultados que se quieren lograr.
On Friday, United Airlines president Scott Kirby emailed their 86,000 employees announcing an “exciting new rewards program.” Quarterly bonuses are gone. Instead, anyone with good performance is entered in a lottery. One lucky winner will get $100,000, and a handful of others will get a luxury vacation or a Mercedes-Benz.
The president of a major airline just failed Management 101.
1. Work isn’t a game show where people are excited to compete for a tiny shot at a huge prize. It’s our livelihood.
The evidence is overwhelming that most people prefer a smaller certain gain to a larger uncertain one. Even at Google, where pay is well above market rates, employees voted overwhelmingly for a steady increase in base salary over bigger bonuses.
Whatever joy a few employees get from a Mercedes will be dwarfed by the disappointment of hundreds who miss out on saving for college or retirement.
2. Rewards shouldn’t be given out at random.
People need to know that good performance is fairly and consistently rewarded. In fact, if you really want to motivate people, you should be giving them a bonus upfront—it shows you trust them to earn it.
3. Changes shouldn’t be made without input from the people affected.
In his email to United employees, Scott Kirby wrote: “As we look to continue improving, we took a step back and decided to replace the quarterly operational bonus and perfect attendance programs with an exciting new rewards program called ‘core4 Score Rewards.»
Before you roll out a new company-wide incentive plan, you might want to try consulting your employees. It’s the most basic principle of organizational change.
I think it’s time for the United board to run a lottery among executives. None will get the annual bonuses they earned. Instead, two will be told: “You get a car! You get a car!” And one lucky winner will be chosen as the new president. Sounds like fun, right?
Next time, try the famous thought experiment proposed by philosopher John Rawls. When you design a system, imagine that you have to decide whether you like it without knowing whether you’re at the top or the bottom. A just system is one you would accept regardless of your place in it. United’s new program clearly fails that test.