reward systems

(In response to: “Should pay be tied directly to productivity?”)
There are many people I know that enjoy being teachers. They found some cool new technology toy, language, library, concept or idea and they love to share it with others. Some times these people are your superstar programmers (but not always). Some times these people occupy other roles such as product managers. Many times these people are indifferent to money so long as:

  1. they are paid enough to have a decent life
  2. someone else is not paid much more than they are. (esp. if that other person is not as good technologically)

Human beings, are by nature, social. In fact, many of the best reward systems are structured around a non-cash reward system. For example,

  1. a trip to Europe instead of a cash-equivalent
  2. A speaking opportunity at a major conference.
  3. Sabbaticals.
  4. Cool gifts ( free iphone, high-powered flashlight).
  5. Public recognition.
  6. Opportunities to work on new technology.
  7. Complements.

“Paying and rewarding” is NOT and should NOT be viewed in terms of dollars but rather in terms of raising social prestige. Money as a reward mechanism usually does not work for creative people ( or works poorly).

Watch Dan Pink at TED talking about motivation:

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