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Do You Want a Meritocracy at Work?


Do You Want a Meritocracy at Work?

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Steve Jones
Steve Jones
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Comments posted to this topic are about the item Do You Want a Meritocracy at Work?

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Gary Varga
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I want a meritocracy where technical skills AND soft skills (i.e. all skills) are used to evaluate the individuals value.

I don't care what someone's DNA tells us (be that skin colour or some disability that might hinder them doing some other non-work related things), whether they wear a skirt or not (man or woman), who they go to bed with (including the boss!!!), which way they vote or whether they prefer smooth or crunch peanut butter (it had better be crunchy though).

Once an individual's overall value to the company is evaluated then the renumeration package should match (it might not simply be money).

I like working with a variety of people and I don't think that everyone provides equal value nor value in the same way.

Gaz

-- Stop your grinnin' and drop your linen...they're everywhere!!!
Richard Warr
Richard Warr
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Sometimes it's more important to do a job you enjoy and are good at than to clibm the corporate ladder.

I'm in my 50s and am employed as a Senior SQL Developer. That suits me fine - I love writing SQL code and have god fairly good at it over the years. I've done other jobs in the past - everything from postboy to CTO - but this is the one I like and seem to be best at.

Too often I have seen examples of the "You're really good at this job so we're going to replace you with somebody who isn't and give you a job you're not suited to" culture. Sure, it's nice to be recognised and rewarded but there should be ways of doing that without the need to change roles.

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Gary Varga
Gary Varga
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Richard Warr (6/14/2013)
Sometimes it's more important to do a job you enjoy and are good at than to clibm the corporate ladder.

I'm in my 50s and am employed as a Senior SQL Developer. That suits me fine - I love writing SQL code and have god fairly good at it over the years. I've done other jobs in the past - everything from postboy to CTO - but this is the one I like and seem to be best at.

Too often I have seen examples of the "You're really good at this job so we're going to replace you with somebody who isn't and give you a job you're not suited to" culture. Sure, it's nice to be recognised and rewarded but there should be ways of doing that without the need to change roles.


I think you are advocating progress over change. I would wholeheartedly agree. Best job I never got was where they valued technical excellence enough to reward it in place (and also recognised that great IT practitioners do not necessarily make even adequate managers).

Gaz

-- Stop your grinnin' and drop your linen...they're everywhere!!!
Richard Warr
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Nice to find a kindred spirit. In the past I've spent 20+ years working as an IT contractor. That's one way of utilising technical skills to achieve "manager money" but it's certainly not suited to everybody.
It does grate sometimes when you find yourself working for an incompetent manager who has been prometed "out of harm's way" but fortunately that hasn't happened in the past few years (the fact that both my current and previous bosses are on this forum has nothing to do with that sentiment ;-)).

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Gary Varga
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The real demon here: ambition.

There are those with more ambition that skills (and I refuse to consider ambition as a skill in itself even though I am ambitious at times). These are the dangerous ones. They will blame others, deceive, coerce and drop people in it at a drop of a hat.

The best managers I have worked for felt more like coordinators. That isn't all they did but they felt that a softly, softly less intrusive approach was most effective. They were all good umbrella holders to a man (in the original non-gender specific sense).

For those of you not getting the umbrella holder reference, imagine a fan spraying some substance out. You and your colleagues are in front of the fan doing a difficult task. However, between you and the fan is a person with an umbrella. The umbrella holder is not trying to keep the substance off of themselves. They are keeping you and your colleagues free from the distraction of being hit by the aforementioned substance. Umbrella Holder = Great team player. They rock.

Gaz

-- Stop your grinnin' and drop your linen...they're everywhere!!!
marcel.eppel
marcel.eppel
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Lovely idea.
Still, it seems to be hard to find in reality.
richardmgreen1
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I'd love to work in such an environment.
Too many times I've seen people promoted because "their face fit" rather than because of their ability to do the job.

Once that starts, it can damage morale in the rest of the workforce who can easily foresee the "keystone cops" approach to management and the aforementioned management tends to turn into an old-boys club (again non-gender specific).

I've worked in places with both scenarios and found that the meritocratic approach to promotion tends to get a better workforce in general (and I've not always worked in technology).

I've been promoted and passed over in both situations and I preferred to be promoted because I can do the job, rather than because I know the boss.
batgirl
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I've never enjoyed a real meritocracy at work, but some employers have been closer than others. There's no doubt that I've been happier with those who were closer.

I'm at a point in my career where I just don't care any more. That's not to say that I don't care about my value to the company - I just don't care about my position in the pecking order. I'm inside of 5 years to retirement and just want to finish out my working life getting the job done and done well for the satisfaction that brings to me.
Dave Schutz
Dave Schutz
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To me it depends on the skills that people are being rewarded for. If we are rewarding people for doing a good technical job, then I'm in favor of that. Too often people are rewarded because of who they befriend and not what work they produce.
When a company promotes people because they are nice and go along with the flow, then expects to get improved performance they are often disappointed. People who just go along with the flow often are unable to drive improvement because improvement requires change from the way you are doing things.
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