In a conversation with a trusted advisor this morning, I had a rather revolutionary suggestion thrown at me. We were complaining about employee motivation and work quality solutions and how none of them actually seemed to address the motivation and reward head on. My advisor threw out the suggestion “what if people were only paid for the kind of work they completed? It would end 8-hour days and the superstars would get paid for creating entire projects and wouldn’t have to work an entire day”. It’s revolutionary and it has the potential to create the kind of work-life balance that telecommuting just hasn’t been able to capture. The question, “how would it work?” immediately comes to mind and I’ve been giving this some thought. Here’s how I would do it.
Business has been continually moving towards remote teams as a rule rather than an exception and if I were to adopt this a-la carte employment, I would embrace the ability that technology has given me to acquire and retain talent. Think Zaarly or Elance.
Price the tasks
In project management you break down every project into individual tasks and assign them. This a-la carte employment system is the exact same thing. When I know I have a huge project coming up, I break down the tasks and assign them individually. The only difference here is that I would have to assign them value. But wait, I already do that in the project budget. Sounds good so far….
Set Clear Expectations
Now this is a de facto stance of mine, set clear expectations and you get clear information. You will know instantly whether the work is good or bad and if fails to meet the standards you don’t have to pay for it. What is not to like? Of course there are negatives, what if the deadline is not met, what if you can’t find a freelancer etc.. but as a business woman having a Plan B is par for the course.
Depending on your business, a-la carte employment may not be the best option but it certainly is something to think about. A mentor once told that if it takes you the entire 8 hours to do your job, then you aren’t up for it. Maybe there’s something to that.
Sarah Hedayati says
Thanks for your post! Work life balance is a hot topic and I appreciate your spin on the subject. Pay for performance is an interesting approach that just could make both the employees and the employers happy.
Leona Charles says
Thank you for reading! It’s an interesting topic isn’t it? Pay for performance sounds so good in theory, but there are a million ways to implement it, I would love to hear someone else’s take.
I love the comment from your mentor about a job taking 8 hours. That is right on the money.
When the work is truly not work then both employer and employee will be creative in the solution for pay. Collaboration is the future.
Leona Charles says
Thanks for the comment Sheevaun!