Photo: Jack Duval via flickr
We came across an oped in Sunday’s Washington Post written by four Wharton professors.According to the four authors, the MBA students they know, who have worked for banks before, are so over bonuses.
After reading almost 800 essays by their students about previous employment, and how they were managed, this is what they found out: students don’t like the bonus system.
They distrust the bonus system. They think the bonus system is extravagant. They think the bonus system doesn’t incentivise stellar performance.
What they really want, more than a bag of cash, or a pile of stocks, is “thoughtful supervision or meaningful reviews.”
We kept reading,
Fortunately, there were many happy students – and the happiest were by no means the best paid. The most important factor behind job satisfaction was how supervisors handled performance appraisals.
Bosses who took the time to give real feedback had happy employees. Those who blew it off had resentful and confused workers.
Maybe we’re just really, really cynical, but we think these scholars need to read between the lines. Their students aren’t anti-bonus. They’re anti their bonus.
- One student wrote: “During my last year at the firm, the junior associates did not receive a bonus at all, while the senior-level managers did,” one student reported. “No explanation was provided other than the fund was not performing well.” READ: Where the hell was my massive bonus?
- One student wrote: “Bonuses were heavily influenced by subjective factors, such as which partners liked which employees.” READ: Just because I’m not chirpy doesn’t mean I didn’t deserve a massive bonus.
- One student, who worked for a firm that doled out equal bonuses wrote: “[It] became a problem when one person put in significantly less work and yet we all knew we were going to be paid the same.” READ: Get me outta here and into Goldman Sachs where I can get a massive bonus.
It would be lovely if the next crop of Wall Streeters was genuinely more interested in feedback than a few extra bucks. But let’s face it, these guys aren’t at Penn’s Graduate School of Education or the School of Arts and Sciences – they chose to go to business school, for a reason.
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