Unexpectedly Intriguing!
10 October 2005

As you might have long suspected from Political Calculations' occasional contrary take on business, management and worklife in general, one of our favorite web sites is Despair.com. Part of the sheer genius of the site, which is primarily known for its line of Demotivational products, is a new book that concisely focuses on how to unleash the power of demotivation in the workplace: The Art of Demotivation. The following excerpt is from the book's chapter on Compensation: Making Pay Fair, and illustrates the Demotivational Philosophy in setting fair compensation practices:

Wage Earners. This is the largest group in your organization. Therefore, your goal is to pay them as little as possible. They are the flotsam and jetsam of the economic system and overpaying them is likely to turn the pristine shores of your organization into a debris field of employees who were forced to wald the plank by your competitors. Turnover in this group will be high if they are offered a position with a competitor before they have had a chance to be demotivated. This is okay, though, because turnover in this group is as necessary as the process of elimination is for the body.

Managers with little or not chance of becoming executives. These employees have proven their value to the organization and their compensation plan should have two primary goals: First, to leverage their knowledge, skills, and abilities to increase the productivity of the wage earners who work for them, and second, to give them a reason to be interested in the long term success of the organization.

Managers with a chance of becoming executives. The compensation plan for these employees is a mentoring program as much as it is anything else. These employees should be exposed to many of the sources of compensation experienced by executives, though at a dramatically lower level, so that they can learn to handle the burdens of wealth.

Executives. Executive compensation has three fundamental goals: (1) to express appreciation for leadership; (2) to reduce as much as possible the temptation posed by executive recruiters; and (3) to provide access to the symbols of wealth and power.

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