There is no reward for (just) effort.

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11 Responses to There is no reward for (just) effort.

  1. Carl says:

    As mentioned previously…. yeah it matters.
    If the bosses are watching (known or not), if they don’t understand the process “looking like one is working ‘hard’” counts.

    I wish it was about output.
    ’cause then I could fire my employee that just (half an hour ago) dumped 500 liters of animal effluent on a road.

    But because he’s working hard, and showing up, and the law protects his job, the best I can do is give him a written warning and an explaination of what he did wrong, and should have done (after extremely heavy rain check the storage tanks aren’t full & turn off the pumps until they are). That and pray the local council don’t sue my ass off.

    • stuart says:

      I can’t even describe how crap your job sounds. :)

      Seriously though, the message is really for them (employees). It is, and ultimately has to be, about performance. Sure, there are rules and legislation that overly protect the weak, but ultimately, hard work without business benefits isn’t sustainable.

      • Carl says:

        Unfortunately for the bosses, a business without employees is also unsustainable. Even if I am total master expert of the universe I still cant be everywhere at once. (and I’m not. btw. )
        and lol.

  2. George says:

    Yeah but you also get into situations where team B’s performance is impacted by the outcome, or lack thereof, of an upstream team A. Looking at Team B’s performance numbers in a vacuum, as is commonly done, will give the impression that they aren’t “performing.” I believe that’s what the fellow on the left is trying to say. Yes his team is “performing” at a less than acceptable level, but he doesn’t want his review to based on that alone. He’s doing everything he can to get his product, or whatever it is, out the door but team A can’t (or won’t) keep him supplied, follow the necessary procedures, or whatever.

    So yes, it should matter!

    • Carl says:

      My impression was it’s one of those cases where the team/employee is saying “I’m doing the best I can” or “We going as fast as we can”…. while the work piles up around them and they’re restocking the drinks cabinet during happy hour. (yes had that). “Best you can do” doesn’t equal “Doing it up to needed level of performance”. (eg serve now, stock later, Sell something else)

      • George says:

        Isn’t perception a funny thing. :-) I just lived through three years of, in a very basic sense, what I described in my previous comment. Initial reaction was that it was always my department’s fault for any failure to deliver to the client. However upon root cause analysis, it never resulted from a failure in my department. So when I read this I could relate to the guy on the left.

        But yes you make a valid point. There was a lot of what you describe impacting us. We’d receive our requests for our deliverables last-minute and be expected to work miracles. It didn’t matter (why they) were late. LOL So I’ll say this cartoon was meant for them, not me. Now I feel better. :-)

        • stuart says:

          Sometimes these comics are for self-reflection, sometimes they’re to anonymously stick to the screen of someone you think needs to hear it. :)

  3. Jimmy says:

    I need to stop reading these or I’m gonna start posting them in the offices of upper management.

  4. Mike K. says:

    Performance matters, but you can’t assess team performance against industry standards unless:
    a) The team is doing industry standard tasks.
    b) The team has industry standard equipment + training.
    c) The team has industry standard management support.

    Performance is always relative towards capability.
    A software developer forced to work on an X-86 terminal will perform worse than their colleague operating an i-7 quadcore.
    A call center agent working with spreadsheets (or post-it’s) will perform worse than their colleague using state-of-art CRM software.
    A marketing team tasked with “introducing predetermined trashy product #5719″ will perform worse than the team next door, tasked with “finding and introducing a scintillating new product that will revolutionize the market”.

    Plus, from personal experience I can tell that keeping up SLA’s for a 50-user, 10-interface application is significantly easier than keeping them for a 50000-user, 500-interface application.
    Don’t claim that you don’t need to know these details to assess performance.

    • stuart says:

      I agree with all of your examples above (and have felt a couple over the years).

      By having the guy (on the left) just wanting to stress how hard they’ve been working as self-evidence that they were also performing, I was trying to highlight the disconnect that some people have between working hard and performing.

      Performance against unfairly applied metrics is a whole other discussion (and probably a series of comics in the near future). I’ll make sure you get credit. :)

    • Ducks says:

      “A software developer forced to work on an X-86 terminal will perform worse than their colleague operating an i-7 quadcore.”
      Not true – you can have way more comic websites open simultaneously on the i7.

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