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 [WARNING: I have drunk a lot of caffeine today]

As I MAY have mentioned, I work in the field of ‘organisational change management’. To Simplify and paraphrase a bit, the field concerns itself with the ‘hearts and minds’ of a change (any kind of change – but I work with IT or business process changes). There’s like proper psychology behind some of the finer concepts and many good thinkers have said many good things about it.

I’m not one. And so what I’m about to say (and usually say) is straight out of the drawer marked ‘DANGER: Numbskullian* Simplifications, Do Not Use’

(*dunno if that’s a word, but it should be. Along with ‘Numbskullistic’, as in ‘I have numbskullistic tendencies’)

SO. Back to the matter at hand.

In a workshop today, We were talking (or being talked to) about impending changes to the payroll process. Current is manual and paper based, with paper payslips, and in the future will be all gleaming and shiny and new. As part of this shine, the company will ‘encourage’ employees to use email to receive payslips (or more correctly, receive a link to a payslip).  ‘Encourage’ huh? What the hell does that mean?  Encourage as in ‘you’re encouraged not to kill people’ (YES) or encourage as in ‘I encourage you to leave home and get a job‘ (says mum to loaf-about teenage son) (NO)?

I wondered whether financial encouragement would do it? How many pounds or dollars or whatever would it take for you to make a step in a positive direction?  The payslip example, for you, reading a blog in your own free time, of your own free volition (apart from you Rach, as you feel compelled to do so), is a BAD example. You’re IT literate and what not. You probably own a smartphone (show off). But think about your parents. Think about MY parents… what would it take for them to adopt a slightly invasive change? “I don’t trust technology”, “I like to have it in front of me, so I can pop it in my file”.

Surely some amount of money will always win out with work stuff-  after all it’s just work.  I’d love to know if it makes financial sense. Think about the system costs, project manager costs, reduction in team sizes and so on.   Thinking about it, maybe it DOESN’T make financial sense, which is why the likes of me are engaged. Expensive we may be (I’m not), but cheaper than giving everyone in a company £5,000.

How else can we motivate people? Is it carrot (as I’d contend sometimes), or stick (as I darkly contemplate sometimes)?