In the realm of knowledge work, sometimes it’s really hard to pinpoint what employees are being paid for. Let’s imagine the role of an event coordinator earning $75,000 per year at a small to mid-sized organization. At that pay scale, we might assume that the employee is being paid for her creative thinking skills and knowledge expertise, in addition to literally running the show. Sure, a part of the job may be to call venues and find out their availability, or inspect an event space to make sure everything is in good order. But for someone earning $75,000 per year, the employee might also be expected to fulfill many roles that are difficult to define and even harder to measure. For example, the organization might want the employee to stay current with trends in event planning. She should have a good sense of what the event attendees will find impressive. What type of wine should be served at the event that reflects the organization well? How do you decorate a space so that it has an air of technological advancement versus looking deeply rooted in tradition? The organization wants the employee to have the necessary skills to answer all these questions, but how does anyone know the employee has these skills, other than gauging whether she’s doing a good job generally?
The Hard Work We’re Paid to Do Isn’t So Easy to Measure – PRODUCTIVITY REPORT