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Survey reveals the madness

Survey reveals the madness

Remember the crazy days pre-crisis, when everything was going awesome? Yeah, well, a few of us may have done some silly things… you know, got a bit carried away.

February 21, 2011 1:09 by

The further we get from the economic implosion that has engulfed the world over the last couple of years, the more it seems to Kipp that we should buy shares in a company making white coats, or providing padding for secure rooms. Why? Because it’s quite clear that, for a while there at least, pretty much everyone lost their marbles.

For instance, the National reports that the days of “seven-figure guaranteed bonuses” in the Gulf appear to be drawing to a close, according to a new report from Mercer, the HR consultancy. Apparently, until recently salaries in the region “commonly included guaranteed sums with bonuses paid irrespective of success or failure”. The Mercer survey suggests that remuneration now is more closely linked to performance.

Of course, Mercer wants you to think, “At last, a bit of common sense and restraint. From now on remuneration will be sensible. Good news.” Which you do, sort of. But that is kind of shouted out by the very loud voice in your brain yelling: “YOU USED TO GIVE GUARANTEED SUMS AND BONUSES OF UP TO SEVEN FIGURES TO PEOPLE EVEN IF THEY FAILED?! WHAT WERE YOU THINKING? IN WHAT WORLD IS THAT SENSIBLE?”

Originally those sentences were peppered with obscenities, which we tactfully removed. But in the lingo of the Twitter generation: WTF? You can take Kipp as an example if you like. Do we get a bonus? No, because we’re lazy and spend half our day looking for terrapins in the lake. But we don’t expect one, either so it’s all fine. But imagine if the management did promise us a bonus – guaranteed, cast iron, thousands and thousands of dollars. And we don’t have to do a thing different. Would we come in earlier? Would we spend less time wondering the lake? No, we’d just do it with a slightly more expensive sandwich. Business doesn’t, and shouldn’t, work like that.

You can talk now about “pay practices moving in line with the rest of the world” as much as you like, but as far as Kipp’s concerned nothing’s going to paint over the craziness that companies here were, given the very nature of the system, almost certainly rewarding some people for doing a bad job. (Most worryingly, it has taken an epic global economic crisis to bring a measure of common sense to proceedings.) Oh and spare us the “it’s a developing economy that needs to attract talent” rubbish – the tax free salaries take care of that. Guaranteed bonuses are bad business, in any country and any business and any economy.

Anyway, the National titled the piece “Telephone number salaries look set to go ex-directory”, which made Kipp chuckle. The closest we ever get to a ‘telephone salary’ is an emergency call.

Can’t think why. Anyway, off to the lake.

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