tfh
Volume 23, Number 11 -- March 18, 2013

Work Smarter, Not Harder--Unless Told To Do Both

Published: March 18, 2013

by Dan Burger

From one extreme to the other. Last week the came the news that Ginny Rometty, IBM's CEO, banked more than $16 million in compensation for her work guiding Big Blue in 2012. Rometty is an exceptional achiever. IBM grooms exceptional achievers. The company is good at that and the rewards, as you can see, are generous. At the same time, we got a glimpse of what it means to be on the fast track and how it feels to be treated like human capital. You either make money for the company or you're something that costs the company.

Rometty, who replaced Sam Palmisano as CEO in January 2012 and in October became chairman of the board, is a bargain compared to her predecessor. Palmisano received $37.1 million in his last year as the best-paid IBM executive. In the year before Rometty climbed to the top of the ladder, she was a senior vice president of sales, where the combination of salary and non-stock incentives brought her a little less than $5.5 million.

The average income of a CEO in the United States equates to the average income of approximately 300 workers. That ratio was one CEO to 82 workers as recently as 1980. Signing bonuses, exit packages, stock options, and other incentives are in place not just for CEOs, but for much of upper management. In many cases, financial rewards are not an incentive to do a good job. It's just an incentive to do a job. Whether executive (not just CEOs) compensation trends are necessary or appropriate is the subject of heated debates.

This article isn't about whether Rometty is doing a good job or whether IBM's return on investment is better or worse since she took over the leadership. Last week happened to be the week IBM (and other large corporations) filed--as required by law--the executive compensation packages paid to the CEOs. Google "executive compensation" and you'll find plenty of high rollers as well as companies that are in some hot water over how those packages were wrapped.

To add perspective to the compensation of top executives and the values they bring to IBM, there's reason to consider a letter written by an IBM Global Technical Services executive that also came to light last week. The letter apparently was meant to be an incentive to non-executive employees, but was called out by someone who took exception with the connection that was being made between hard work, the work-life balance, and achieving goals.

The IBM executive, Bob Hoey, a vice president of sales for the financial services sector, has a track record of successful executive sales jobs in IBM's Systems and Technology Group. Nobody questions how hard he works and as a sales executive he must constantly push sales higher in order to reach his goals. The other thing that nobody questions is that sales are rewarded by commissions, which are very lucrative. Sales goals depend to a large degree on support personnel, who often have an important role to play in customer satisfaction. The support staff gets a lot of pressure, but not much in the way of rewards. Hoey's letter to those who work under him questioned the work ethic of employees while pointing out that those who considered the work-life balance to be over-weighted on the company side were simply complainers and a impediments to achieving goals. Hard work, in and of itself, should be the incentive. His support for that was a reference to people in India, Brazil, and China who work longer hours (pretty well documented) without complaint (not so well documented), which sounds like outsourcing jobs--or planting that seed--is in the back of his mind and that he wanted it in the workers' minds as well.

The response to Hoey's letter claims he is insensitive to the reality of work-life balance and is threatening to those who dare allow life priorities, including health and family, to have an equal or higher priority than workplace. It implies that top performers and those who get promotions do not come from the life-choices side of the aisle.

The reaction letter, which was anonymous (probably a wise choice), also cited the "pick up the slack" effects of corporate downsizing, layoffs, and restructuring as reasons the work-life balance has already tilted the scales to the side of working harder and longer pushing the incidence of burnout higher, which results in physical and mental health issues, relationship problems, exhaustion, anxiety, and depression.

The idea of maximizing efficiency while churning through the workforce and planning for employee turnover, or possibly outsourcing jobs, may be financially rewarding for the top wage earners, but it makes a societal mess goes beyond the concerns (the complaints, if that's your point of view) of affected workers.

The letter from Hoey and the response to it can be seen in their entirety at www.endicottalliance.org, a website hosted by an IBM employees' organization known as the Alliance@IBM. Employees of IBM in the United States are not members of a union recognized by the corporation. Alliance@IBM states its purpose as supporting the "respect of individual employees and to make its voice heard by IBM management, shareholders, government, and the media."


RELATED STORIES

IT Salaries In North America To Creep Up A Bit In 2013

Survey Points To 3 Percent Raise For IT Pros In 2013

Top CIOs Bring Home The Bacon, IT Salaries Flat As Pancakes

Paying Attention

Palmisano Rakes in $9 Million for IBM's 2010 Performance

IBM Boosts Dividend and Share Buybacks, What About i Marketing?



                     Post this story to del.icio.us
               Post this story to Digg
    Post this story to Slashdot


Sponsored By
COMPUTER KEYES

*Full Color Graphical Overlays*

KeyesOverlay rapidly converts standard *SCS printer
files into eye catching PDF documents.

Create graphical overlays in full color (or black and white if preferred) then
easily map your spooled file text with different fonts, sizes and colors!
Design beautiful documents and attractive reports VERY QUICKLY!
Then let KeyesOverlay create document after document
at lightning speed.

Learn more at www.computerkeyes.com
or call 800 356 0203.


Editor: Timothy Prickett Morgan
Contributing Editors: Dan Burger, Joe Hertvik, Victor Rozek,
Jenny Thomas, Hesh Wiener, Alex Woodie
Publisher and Advertising Director: Jenny Thomas
Advertising Sales Representative: Kim Reed
Contact the Editors: To contact anyone on the IT Jungle Team
Go to our contacts page and send us a message.

Sponsored Links

Townsend Security:  IBM i Encryption Without Program Changes!   >> View Webcast
Northeast User Groups Conference:  23nd Annual Conference, April 22 - 24, Framingham, MA
COMMON:  Join us at the 2013 Conference & Expo, April 7 -10 in Austin, TX

 

 

More IT Jungle Resources:

System i PTF Guide: Weekly PTF Updates
IBM i Events Calendar: National Conferences, Local Events, and Webinars
Breaking News: News Hot Off The Press
TPM @ The Reg: More News From ITJ EIC Timothy Prickett Morgan


 
Four Hundred Stuff
ABL Takes a Fresh Approach to Modernization with RolePlay

Infor ION: More Than 900 Loosely Served

Anatomy of a (Successful) Cloud DR Test

Mrc Gives i Web Dev Tool More Smarts

Halcyon Gets Its Task On

Four Hundred Guru
Journal Forensics 101

When Who Did What

Admin Alert: A Checklist For Moving Power i Partitions To A Different Location

Four Hundred Monitor
Four Hundred Monitor's
Full iSeries Events Calendar

System i PTF Guide
March 9, 2013: Volume 15, Number 10

March 2, 2013: Volume 15, Number 9

February 23, 2013: Volume 15, Number 8

February 16, 2013: Volume 15, Number 7

February 9, 2013: Volume 15, Number 6

February 2, 2013: Volume 15, Number 5

TPM at The Register
Can VMware boost profits by expanding from data centers to clouds?

Report: EMC, IBM sniffing around hoster SoftLayer

EMEA server market struggles to find its footing

VMware NSX mashes up Nicira and homegrown network virt

EMC launches its cloudy Federation with Pivotal big data spinoff

VMware and partners to build uber-vCloud to take on Amazon

Dell, Canonical tag team on Ubuntu Server tune-up for PowerEdgies

Taiwanese giant Quanta sold one out of every seven servers last year

Scalding clouds too hot to touch? Newvem adds heat map to AWS

Amazon makes EC2 stickier with default virtual private clouds

Fujitsu makes Windows Server 2012 see double

Keep calm and carry on flogging: Dell soothes troops as buyout looms

THIS ISSUE SPONSORED BY:

CCSS
Enforcive
Profound Logic Software
Computer Keyes
WorksRight Software


Printer Friendly Version


TABLE OF CONTENTS
Entry Power7+ Servers: How IBM Sees The Deal

Big Blue Backs Off On IBM i Maintenance Price Hike

Power Systems: The Secret To SMB Innovation?

Mad Dog 21/21: Clouds Gather Over The Server Business

IT Job Market Slides In February, But Could Rebound In Summer

But Wait, There's More:

Reader Feedback On Sundry Recent Stories . . . IDC Says Server Sales Up As Shipments Go Down In Q4 . . . IBM Lab To Show Off Software Goodies to CEOs, CMOs, And CFOs . . . Work Smarter, Not Harder--Unless Told To Do Both . . . IBM Social Business Message: Productivity Gains, Cultural Change . . .

The Four Hundred

BACK ISSUES




 
Subscription Information:
You can unsubscribe, change your email address, or sign up for any of IT Jungle's free e-newsletters through our Web site at http://www.itjungle.com/sub/subscribe.html.

Copyright © 1996-2013 Guild Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Guild Companies, Inc., 50 Park Terrace East, Suite 8F, New York, NY 10034

Privacy Statement