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I have never quite understood how anyone could believe that "all employees are outstanding." Maybe it's because I come from a world where we used to choose up sides for every kind of sport imaginable (including punchball and stoopball). Both ability and willingness for any performance vary drastically across any population you choose, whether it's opera singers or shoe salespeople. If we're all the same, why bother with a draft in pro sports, or with efforts to recruit great people?

Wally:

I don't disagree with you. My intent is too simply point out that - in this scenario - its tough (maybe impossible) to have your cake and eat it too. To reward everybody, ultimately, is to reward nobody (unless you have a 10% salary increase budget - something I don't see much these days).

Thanks - always - for your thoughts!

My apologies, Ann. I did not intend to state that I disagreed with you. I don't. You can't take the view that everyone in your workforce is superior and also believe that some of them should be paid more based on their performance, at least not without a huge amount of cognitive dissonance. I was venting my frustration at the kind of thinking that you called into question.

Wally:

I think we're both coming from the same place here, which is to make clear (using your good word) the dissonance present in this thinking. And, for me, to encourage those thinkers to get off the fence and land on one side or the other. Equivocating on this issue fools nobody - least of all employees.

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About The Author

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    Compensation consultant Ann Bares is the Managing Partner of Altura Consulting Group. Ann has more than 20 years of experience consulting with organizations in the areas of compensation and performance management.

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