ASQ - Team and Workplace Excellence Forum

Online Edition - August 2000

Issue Highlight - Homeward Bound
--- Peter Block offers some practical reccomendations about how to create balance and harmony in your life.
These recommendations are guaranteed to work or your time back."

In This Issue...
The Economics of Choice
Children: A Blessing or a Lucky Taxbreak
Welcome to the Wild West
The Struggle to Have It All

Peter Block Column
Day In The Life Stories
Views for a Change

Heard on the Street
Letters to the Editor

    Pageturners        Book Reviews with a Twist

"Rewarding Excellence,"                                                 

by Edward E. Lawler III
  It's True! 
  Everything is changing at an extremely rapid pace. Even though there are some things that tend to remain in their complicated and bureaucratic form, author Edward E. Lawler does a fine job of organizing the book into four parts:

  1) Rewards and organizational performance

  2) Attracting, developing and retaining employees

  3) Rewarding performance

  4) Strategic design

  This sound approach works well in text and flow. Of course, the idea of rewarding performance is not new, but for most of us it's just a dream. Otherwise why would there be a book explaining how to do it? Logic and reason are present in both the concept and description. And certainly, the application of rewarding the "Team" is not a theory. Many companies come to mind that successfully abstain from rewarding individuals. They reward only on the team, department or plant levels.

  Weaknesses in compensation packages are clearly and accurately described. Mr. Lawler offers a "Fix" by way of the "Star Model."

Say What?

  All this focus on bucks is fine, but to confuse matters, most of the employee satisfaction surveys I've read in the last two years indicate something other than money as the top reason for staying or changing jobs. In fact, most surveys I've seen routinely rank dollars below number five.

Excuse Me….

  One of the problems mentioned in the book is the "Microsoft Problem." This phenomenon describes the difficulties experienced by companies balancing overcompensation (creating complacency, arrogance and disinterest by making employees independently wealthy) and the other extreme (paying so little, employees seek employment elsewhere).

  From at least one perspective this book is aggravating. It seems to be directed to a group of HR people with the authority to make changes in this area. "Rewarding Excellence," while making valid suggestions, only increases frustration levels because of the reader's lack of empowerment to implement change.

Then Again…

  This book is applicable to all levels of business practice, from the small coffee shop to the corporate business. The author outlines and presents ways to attract, develop and retain star performers by recognizing their excellence. Reward systems are well understood in today's business world, but perhaps not practiced enough. In today's business of hire and fire, organizations have discovered the increasing difficulties of finding and retaining talented employees. "Rewarding Excellence" offers a multitude of solutions. If the competitive organization desires to incorporate a reward system as a tool for maximizing their employees, then I highly recommend the purchase of this book.

"Rewarding Excellence" (Jossey-Bass, 2000) by Edward E. Lawler, III. ISBN 0-7879-5074-2. 327 pages.

Reviewed by Jim Pelham, training specialist, and Stacy Moneymaker, chief of personnel, at the Human Resources Business Center in Fort Campbell, Ky.

Book Ratings:

= Pick it up today
  **** = Overnight it
*** = Snail mail it
** = At a library?
        * = Never mind

August 2000 NFC Homepage


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