The Value of a Good Day’s Work


While people will say that there are many other factors that make a job valuable to the employee, like commute time, vacation, recognition, a great boss and engaging work, compensation is still the glue.  Don’t believe me?  Try not paying people to work and see how long they stick around!

Yet, what is the value of a good day’s work for your job?  What should your employer pay you for a good day’s work so both of you feel like you are in a fair deal?  What should your employer pay you if you don’t get much done, or become a slacker?  Ah, you still want the same amount, don’t you?

It is funny how employers would never say out loud that they would not want to pay an employee to underperform, but they do it all the time!  They set goals for employees and work doesn’t happen.  They set tasks and objectives that never get done and just grip about it.  So what message is this sending to the employee?  Clearly it means you will get paid until we just get tired of the situation.  But for months or years, work and compensation are not coexisting with each other.

I see this when I consult, or at least try to obtain new clients.  They will often tell me all the stuff they need to accomplish in the next 12 months, and 12 months later, the list is still the same.  I’d feel sorry for them if they had not been paid either, but that is never the case.  They accomplished none of their business objectives and still earned their salary.  This is the fault, 100%, of the employer.  The value of a “Good Day’s Work” was established on the date of hire when the job and the compensation was agreed upon.  When an employee is allowed to do less than a good day’s work, and the employer continues to pay the same value, new terms are being created.

This is why years can go by before an employee loses their job.  Even the most ethical employee will slide on performance over time if allowed, and so it really lands up being the person paying compensation to get their money’s worth.

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