Radical, Common Sense Solutions
I learned from a manager I respect that one should always follow up on a list of problems and criticisms with a list of solutions. So, my proposed solutions to the people problems I described in my last post, none of them rocket science:
To counter the Peter Principle: Create independent contributor tracks. Those tracks need not necessarily pay as much as managers make. I believe that the issue for many people is that they want to keep growing throughout their careers, to keep taking on new challenges.
To counter rewarding the wrong behaviors: Evaluate the reward system from a broad perspective. Think about how the rewards shape individuals’ field of options both inside and outside of the job, and avoid creating a comfort zone where not growing is the best financial or political option.
To counter poor job construction: Be intellectually honest in evaluating jobs according to the work involved and the abilities it requires and set aside status markers, when possible. It’s probably not particularly damaging to give executives corner offices. It is very damaging to give all clerical work to the women or to the newest hires while allowing upper managers to get away with not learning how to make a single copy or post a letter through the company mail system.