"Line of sight" is a much used phrase among compensation professionals, particularly with regard to incentives. In the context of its military origins, line of sight means "distance to target". In reward plan design, it is used to describe an employee's perceived ability to impact performance.
A number of noted variable pay experts are calling for more focus on individual performance measures in these plans, in order to strengthen employee "line of sight". Research suggests that many companies are following this advice.
I say that this advice may not only be counterproductive - signaling employees to hunker down and keep their focus within the boundaries of their immediate responsibilities - it may also represent a dereliction of duty on the part of their leaders.
Because isn't line of sight ultimately a leadership thing? Isn't it something that a great leader attends to as a matter of course, helping employees understand the larger purpose that their work serves as well as the role they play in making the organization successful and profitable? Is this too much to ask of today's leaders?
Is this increased focus on individual performance and rewards truly the right road, the best way to engage and draw the most from today's workers in today's world ... or are we just defaulting to the path of least resistance?
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