Gov Careers

By Phil Piemonte

Blog archive

Be honest—how much are you motivated by pay?

Office of Personnel Management Director John Berry made an interesting statement today during a speech at the Interagency Resources Management Conference.

Speaking about performance and pay, Berry noted: “There’s a lot of literature out there that says what drives performance really isn’t pay.”

Note that Berry wasn’t trying to downplay the overall importance of pay to employees. He made the statement as part of a larger point that he was making—that is, that the government should study and improve its performance management system as part of any redesign of the federal pay system.

One thing that we’ve observed on this blog is that many feds in their comments express a deep commitment to public service, and that they take deep offense at negative characterizations of federal employees.

At the same time, dedicated or not, plenty of commenters gripe about pay.

But the question we’re asking today is: What makes you perform well? Is it pay that makes you perform the best you can? Or is it competent management? How about a comfortable work environment? Or maybe being part of a group of high-quality workers?

Sure, all of these things can play a role in ramping up performance—but which one stands above all the others?

A lot of the folks who make the big decisions are positive it is pay.

Is it?


Posted by Phil Piemonte on Mar 16, 2011 at 12:13 PM


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