The welfare state is a such big part of British life that 64% of
all families in the UK receive some kind of government benefits.
Your employees won’t like this.
But I’d rather be the voice of truth and have people blame
the messenger for the message, than pretend not to notice the
800-pound gorilla that so many companies ignore.
that time of year when I become The Grinch Who Stole Christmas
If you have the
Rules of Work” poster in your company, look at Rule #1. It reads
“Raises Are Earned, Not Given”.
I borrowed this from the
Marine Corps. The next time you see a USMC tractor trailer, look
at that beautiful mural of the stainless-steel sword. Above it,
you’ll see three words: “Earned, Never Given”.
sheriff’s deputy who attended my seminar in Maryland last week
saw the poster and said “Rule #1 is exactly what a lot of people
in my department need to hear. They think they’re entitled to a
raise every year even though a lot of them don’t deserve one”.
The same is true of Christmas bonuses.
If you don’t
have to do anything to earn a bonus, it’s not a reward – it’s an
entitlement. And entitlements are the greatest demotivator in
A minister who recently traveled to the United
Kingdom told me he’s amazed at how many able-bodied people rely
on government benefits there. A police officer told him he was
trying to get “on benefits” because he’d make more than his
salary as a police officer.
As odd as that sounds in the
U.S. where we believe that accomplishment should be rewarded,
we’re drifting away from that principle, starting with our
If you’re about 30 or older, you only got a
trophy when you were a kid if you came in first place. Today,
every kid gets a trophy just for showing up.
As a result,
we have a generation that expects to be rewarded for mere
participation, instead of actual achievement. Giving a Christmas
bonus to everyone just because they’re still there on December
25th is no different.
If your company is currently making
this mistake and you’d like to rectify it, replace Christmas
Bonuses with Year End Bonuses, which are tied to people’s
performance in some way.
Even if it’s something as
simple as good attendance, this changes the bonus from an
entitlement to an incentive.
Wikipedia defines an
incentive as "A factor that motivates a particular course of
action", which is exactly what bonuses should do.
To Your Success,
aka The Grinch Who Stole Christmas Bonuses
And yes, I admit to being biased on this subject. As I’ve said
for years, I believe in the values of God, the United States
Marine Corps, and Dave Ramsey – in that order. I firmly believe
that the further we drift from those values, the more problems
we will have.
If anyone knows why the Corps did away with their awesome
slogan “The Few. The Proud. The Marines.” this year, I’d love to
hear it. I hope it wasn’t, as rumor has it, to be more
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