A vote against pay for performance
- By Stephanie Kanowitz
- Aug 10, 2007
As a federal employee about to retire, I have been watching the chaos created by ex-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfield while he made every attempt to destroy any chance for federal employees to get a fair system of pay. Pay for performance sounds like a great idea but only if those that make the decisions are capable of making an unbiased decision.
When I take my car for service, I like to have the best mechanic in the shop work on it. Pay for performance is like that except the person who makes the decision in a government workplace, more often than not, has no concept of the jobs he is rating the personnel on. Federal wages used to be correct because supervisors used to come from the rank and file. People who started in an entry-level position and worked their way through the maze make good managers. Today, supervisors are no longer chosen for their work experience. They are chosen for "counting the beans," or keeping the budget objectives. Managerial skills no longer include the ability to look at a job and understand how it is done. I for one do not wish to have my performance rated by an educated idiot who is book smart and street stupid. I have seen more projects fail thanks to poor leadership rather than workforce failure. If my pay is based on how the village idiot feels about me rather than how well I do my job that causes me a great deal of concern. It used to be called, "the good-ol' boy" system. As long as the boss liked you, performance would never be an issue. Personally, I prefer to be looking at my boss during an evaluation rather than under his desk.
The first priority should be to get good management, then focus on employee performance, not the other way around. Nick Kulp