Using money to motivate
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How do you tie rewards and compensation for your people to the success of IT?
Most companies have a range of tools--bonuses for extraordinarily well-done work, perhaps stock options. Some or all of these are used to reward individuals on particularly high-risk or critical projects that have to be delivered on time with exceptional results. You may use retention bonuses or stock options so they don't jump ship. But if most people are working on projects they're excited by, they are excited not by the monetary element but by the desire to do something that hasn't been done before or to beat the competition.
That's a stronger driver for IT leaders. The compensation element is something to make a company feel more secure.
Each individual has a one- or two-page road map of expectations and personal development goals per year, such as mentoring with people in the business or going for an M.B.A. We're trying to rotate IT people so they understand more of the business and aren't stuck in one job. We review that map twice a year and measure success of project implementations--the timing, cost of the project, ROI, [whether it was] successful from a business point of view.
We go through an objective-setting exercise. I come out with high-level objectives for my whole group. My direct reports will tie their objectives to mine and they get more granular. But they're completely tied to compensation and bonuses.
From a non-monetary perspective, the biggest way to reward employees is to say "thank you" and say it in public. I like to play golf. I get invited to different golf tournaments. What I usually do is try to give four employees an opportunity to play golf. Or I buy tickets to other sports. That's an effective gesture because it's unexpected.