Are bonuses encouragement for improved performance, or just an additional expected part of a yearly salary?
Employee bonuses make sense, I guess, in for-profit companies that achieve unusual or unexpected success.
Although I remember reading research that determined bonuses are not effective as a promised reward for increased productivity. That research concluded that employees prefer a raise over a bonus.
Nevertheless, I don’t know if it’s right, and I don’t have anything against bonuses in for-profit companies.
But bonuses for government employees make absolutely no sense. If you’ve had even one ear open lately you know that federal employees in both the Internal Revenue Service and Veterans Administration have been receiving generous bonuses for years. Both exemplify why bonuses often are a bad idea.
The minute employees are aware that bonuses are available for some particular reason, the bonus, instead of the job, becomes the objective. In the case of the VA it’s even obvious now that many of these bonuses were deadly.
Records were falsified in order to achieve a bonus, and the falsifications shortened the lives of veterans. The unpleasant fact is that VA employee bonuses became blood money. Most federal jobs pay above private employment wage scales and offer far more generous perks.
Added bonuses add no value for taxpayers. They may achieve nothing for any employer.
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