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Heads I Win, Tails You Loose

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It is the time of year that has proven to be the busiest for many corporations. Staff dinners, bonuses, salary increases and yearly performance evaluations are just a few of the items that populate the corporate calendar.

However, it is left to wonder how different these activities would be in December 2020. It is surprising the number of corporations that have taken advantage of the global pandemic and used it as an excuse to increase employee redundancies, reduce salaries, freeze salary increases and bonus distributions and cancel staff dinners despite having a profitable year. Without a doubt, some businesses were dealt a devastating blow by the pandemic and are genuinely only surviving by the ‘skin of their teeth’. Nonetheless, there are others, particularly in the pharmaceutical and food distribution industries, who actually reported increase sales revenues as a result of the panic buying and scaremongering tactics that drove customers to spend what they had and what they did not have.

If one can be candid and unbiased, corporations were not prepared for a global pandemic and both captain and crew were forced to be creative and innovative so that some sense of normalcy can be maintained. Nonetheless, many corporations have made it to the end of the year, whether it is by sheer luck or by the strategic directive of their executives or the adaptability and resilience of their employees. The big question is who gets the recognition, the bonuses and the pay increases? Performance incentive is not a novel idea and it has been proven to be a critical internal governance mechanism. Even so, the year 2020 has wiped the glass clean to reveal those that have done and continue to do nothing while piggy-backing on those who truly have the best interest of the corporation at heart.

Consequently, the spirit of the performance-based incentive initiative is put to the test. It is believed that while the performance incentive is practical, it becomes problematic when it is given despite the absence of performance. It appears that on the one hand, there is a consensus that employees should not be rewarded without performance;

however, on the other hand, when the shoe is placed on the other foot and the lack of performance of our leaders come into question, ‘mum’s the word’. Maybe it’s because HEADS I WIN, TAILS YOU LOOSE!

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