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Michael, Employment Services
Category: Job
Satisfied Customers: 2535
Experience:  Employment Services Professional
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In my work they are implementing a scheme to decide whether

Customer Question

In my work they are implementing a scheme to decide whether to renew contracts of the employees at the end of each year. In what we do it is easy to measure productivity, as a number of items produced each year. Typical productivity in a year is, say, 3 items. However, some years, for reasons I don't think are relevant, an employee can have an exceptional productivity, such as 12 items in one year. However, to get these higher productivities the employees have to make some additional effort and this is usually rewarded with some extra money.
What the bosses want to do is to ask the employees to sign an agreement that to renew their contract they will have maintain or increase their average productivity over the last 3 years. If they fail to do so their contract will not be renewed.
Intuitively I think that this scheme will promote lower productivities. I think that from the point of view of an employee the best strategy to beat this scheme and keep your job is to maintain your productivity as low as possible and not ever aiming to increase it because you would risk not being able to sustain this average productivity next year. However, I do not have any formal backing for this intuition.
I know that the bosses are sensitive to scientific studies. If I was able to show that the outcome of this scheme has been modeled and produces an outcome of lower productivity I'm sure that this would change their mind. However, I don't have any expertise in Economics and would not be able to find this study. Does it exist? Is somebody able to point me to something like that?
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Job
Expert:  Michael replied 4 months ago.

Hi Eduardo,

Went ahead this evening to research some studies done on this subject as you can then review and offer to your superiors::

1. Forbes article to start with:

2. Consulting firm McKinsey & Company:

3. Harvard Business Review:

4. Wharton School of Business:

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Thanks but these articles do not really address the issue I asked about. I need information such as, for example, a publication of a computer simulation of the rules the bosses are considering implementing. My feeling is that this works like game rules (work rules) that the players (the workers) will try to beat in order to win the game (get your contract renewed at the end of the year). My guess is that there may be some game theory simulations that may give a proper answer to the problem, showing that the players will implement a strategy of low productivity to win the game. This is the kind of argument I can give to the bosses because they are scientists (I said in my question that they would be sensitive to scientific studies).The material you sent to me do not address the problem I explained and are best suited for a more general discussion of what motivates a worker.
Expert:  Michael replied 4 months ago.

Let me then opt-out for other experts to possibly assist.


Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Sure, that's fine by me. Thanks!