Who pays? (3)

Last but not least… changing who pays for what can help you to take better care of your team.

In the early years we asked team members to do occasional evening and weekend work as part of their contract. This worked okay, but created two bad incentives.

  1. We had effectively already paid for for the extra time in advance, so we had an incentive to use the resource (out-of-work-hours work) that we’d already paid for more than we otherwise might – it wasteful not to.
  2. To get our money’s worth, we were less careful about arranging work commitments outside office hours. We gained by using (or over-using) our staff – in effect, we were asking them to pay the price of the additional activities we chose to do.

To solve this problem, we started paying our staff a bonus for every night that they spent away from home for work. If the work is important, it’s worth paying for – so we (or the customer) pays, and our employees are happy to be compensated for their lost time.

If the work isn’t important, we’re forced to ask the question “is it worth paying this much to get this done?”. If the answer is no, we don’t do it.

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