Many large organizations recognize that incentive programs, monetary or otherwise, can be a powerful tool in driving engagement and encouraging certain types of activities. But designing an effective incentive program can be tricky. Why? Because sometimes your well intentioned compensation plan gets people focused on the wrong thing.
The story goes that a scientist was working with pigeons in an animal behavior research laboratory. He was teaching the pigeons by offering them treats for certain behaviors and seeing how long it took them to learn the association between the action and the treat.
To do this on a large scale, he automated his lab completely. There were levers in the cages, and when the pigeons pressed the levers, a treat popped out. Happy with his system, our clever researcher left for the weekend. When he returned on Monday he found his pigeons acting nutty. Some were turning in circles, others were banging their heads against the side of the boxes, and others were pulling out their feathers.
Tags: Compensation Planning