Some cutting-edge companies are experimenting with a new bonus model, says Rachel Silverman at The Wall Street Journal, in which your year-end windfall is decided not by your boss, but by those who perhaps know your work best: Your co-workers. In the case of San Francisco-based Coffee & Power, employees are given 12,000 stock options each, which they can dole out to the colleagues whom they deem most deserving. Some analysts say the move directs bonuses to the right places, while others argue that it could make for some fairly awkward water-cooler conversation. Here, an excerpt:
Exchanges like those at Coffee & Power make the labor market of an individual office fluid, crowd-sourced, and open to constant feedback. Allowing employees to vote on one another's performances also holds workers accountable and raises the stakes for those who don't contribute, managers say. On the flip side, there is a chance these markets could devolve into popularity contests, or lead to hard feelings among those who aren't recognized by the group.
Rank-and-file workers often have the best information about how others really perform, says Denise Rousseau, a management professor at Carnegie Mellon University.
"Who knows better than employees themselves who the contributors are...?"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Here's the schedule very successful people follow every day
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- A gay Mormon's complicated journey
- 7 things the world's happiest people do every day
- The biggest lesson Obama failed to learn from Bush
- Why you shouldn't eat dog. Not even once.
- Why you should really take a nap this afternoon, according to science
- How social conservatives became a minority in need of protection
- This Indian meal service is so efficient it's the envy of FedEx
- The militarization of America’s police
Subscribe to the Week