Created by Carolin Peinecke

Get rid of the bonuses!

How we finally got rid of old learned patterns of remuneration and were once again allowed to notice for ourselves how difficult it is to question ourselves again and again.

"Why aren’t our consultants involved in product development? It’s totally frustrating! Don’t they understand that that would be vital to our development?" 
We have asked ourselves this question too often. And we have to admit that sometimes, too, frustration has spread. We tried using a different bonus model. Instead of merely looking at the individual turnover of a consultant, we agreed on an internal design budget. And suddenly the discussions got going: how often do we have to travel to internal design meetings? Is that really necessary. So what did we have at the end? A more complicated compensation system and more frustration. How should we now design the bonus system so that finally something changes? And why do you have to regulate everything through money? Then finally the eureka moment!

No matter what system we use to calculate an individual bonus, it will always lead a narrow focus on those individual factors. 
So get rid of the bonuses! So we have suggested to our consultants that we pay them a pure fixed salary with no variable portion any more. And the reaction was: frustrating! Why no bonus all of a sudden? What did we do wrong? It took a lot of discussion, a lot of listening, understanding and explaining. An unusual thought takes time, even if it makes sense to individuals.

You have to let your thoughts ripen and leave room for questions, scenarios and emotions. 
Because then at some point the moment comes where a smile appears on the face, where it becomes clear that it is wonderful not to focus on a goal, but to set priorities together, to decide together what focus is currently being worked on and who contributes what. After three months, we can say that working feels so much easier when you can take it easy. And it releases a lot of energy and creativity.



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