I spoke at #agileinthecity this week on Punishment Driven Development and I was asked an interesting question.
“What if a team member doesn’t want to do a good job?”
Should we punish someone who just isn’t trying? Should we let them know that their behaviour is unacceptable? Should we start hard performance management?
It’s my belief that the vast majority of people want to do a good job. I’ve never turned up intending to do a bad day’s work and I assume that other people are similar. So if there’s a member of a team who isn’t motivated and doesn’t respond to peer pressure then my first question isn’t around what sort of punishment is needed but rather around why they don’t want to do a good job. Why aren’t they motivated? Have they been over-managed? Are they feeling disrespected? Is there something major happening outside of work which means that they can’t concentrate? Are they unhappy about their performance review? Do they feel that they work hard but get no recognition? Do they not have the knowledge or skills that they need to do their work?
I would rather assume good intentions and deal with any exceptions. To me, respect is one of the most important things in the workplace, and everything else flows from that.