Why Employers Reward Results not Effort
Students often complain that they should have gotten better grades because they “tried really hard” or “attended every class”. On the contrary, “trying really hard” is what’s expected of everyone. This is effort!
Not everyone gets a trophy just for playing in the game.
When jobseekers look for jobs, they must demonstrate measurable achievements and results from their previous job experience or capacities in order to be considered against other applicants. RESULTS! They must demonstrate that their efforts are or were quantifiable i.e increased sales or business growth to the company by 30%.
A research by Mark Murphy contends that employer approval is the number one predictor of millennial job satisfaction. Incredibly unexpected. His research further shows that only 39% of Millennials said their boss does a good job of recognizing and acknowledging their accomplishments. Are you thinking what I am thinking? Yes. Millennials can be entitled. It is important to note that results cannot be meaningful if everyone’s efforts are rewarded.
Effort is an element of performance, but it’s not the end result. In fact, in some companies, mere efforts (without results) may be interpreted as incompetence. In most businesses, results matter. A lot!
Let’s make it clear! Effort is good, no, great. It drives productivity, but it should never be celebrated or rewarded in a vacuum. Often, if rewarded, it is rewarded by recognition, which is more intangible in nature, very personal in delivery and often unexpected.
Why do employers insist on Results and not Effort.
- It is easier to measure results. Although some employers try to balance this by creating a bonus structure for effort and results, it is not enough. At the end of the day, I sold 10 softwares is quantifiable to I visited 50 companies.
- Sometimes results are not only due to effort, but also due to, at least in part, sheer luck. Most employers therefore do not reward mere effort because they have a systematic bias for underestimating the ‘luck’-factor.
- Effort is expected of everyone. Infact, some employers believe work should be effortless since the employees are expected to be already prepared and qualified.
- Employers view results as the target of effort. A Salesperson who makes 50 marketing calls, makes 20 visits daily or makes 10 Facebook posts in a day expects sales to increase by a certain amount. Employers tend to reward results since it is the incentive to or compensation for effort made.
Unfortunately, unrewarded efforts might sometime send a message of “keep your head down, or it will get shot off”. Just like in a classroom, not appreciating a pupil who tries to answer but do not say the correct answer sends a message to others to not even try.
Continuously, employers are rewarding the right effort– those that lead to good results.
By rewarding behaviors and performances they want repeated, employers send a message both to the employee and to the others in the organization that doing the right things – trusting the process and working with integrity – will result in recognition and reward.
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