The Dark Side of Pay-for-Performance Programs

Perform better, get paid more, is the basic tenant of pay-for-performance (PFP). One type of PFP strategy is bonuses, which are easy to hand out and motivate employees to accomplish short-term goals. PFP can be used at all levels of the organization, from CEOs to managers to entry-level workers. Want that project done by the end of the month? An extra monetary incentive won’t hurt! Or will it?

Although the concept is simple, the positive and negative outcomes of this compensation system are much more complex. One team of researchers (Pohler & Schmidt, 2016) investigated how giving managers bonuses for better performance leads to employee turnover.


The Impact of Networking on Employee Turnover

Publication: Personnel Psychology, 2016
Article: Internal and external networking differentially predict turnover through job embeddedness and job offers
Reviewed by: Ashlyn Patterson

Networking involves building, maintaining, and using professional relationships. When people talk about networking, they are usually quick to point out the benefits of being connected to others. The more people you connect with, the more information you can gain about strategies for dealing with difficult people, trends in the industry, and potential job opportunities. As employees gain more information and connect with more people, does that increase or decrease the likelihood that they will voluntarily leave their current job? New research (Porter, Woo, & Campion, 2016) suggests that the answer depends on whom you are networking with.


Overflowing Stress: How Personal Stress Leads to Stress on the Job

Publication: Personnel Psychology
Article: Life spillovers: The spillover of fear of home foreclosure to the workplace
Reviewed by: Kayla Weaver

Stressful events that occur outside of the workplace can negatively affect work outcomes such as employee stress, job commitment, and turnover intentions. This phenomenon is called negative spillover, because employees are not always able to “check” their personal stress and worries “at the door” when switching from their home environment to their work environment.

Most research has focused on the spillover between an employee’s family role and work role. However, employees can also be affected by non-family experiences that occur in their personal lives outside of work (e.g., housing crises, natural disasters, terrorist attacks, etc.). Examples of negative spillover include being irritable, distracted, or tired at work because of problems at home. These personal experiences can result in work outcomes that negatively impact both employees and organizations.


Age-Inclusive HR Practices Lead to Improved Organizational Outcomes

Most industrialized countries are facing challenges posed by aging populations. Correspondingly, companies have to manage and engage a more age-diverse workforce than ever before. Sometimes, employees from three or even four different generations may work in the same company. Boehm, Kunze, and Bruch (2014) examined the effects of age-inclusive HR practices on organizational outcomes and found promising results.


Are You Managing and Keeping Your Star Performers?

Publication: Personnel Psychology
Article: Star Performers in Twenty-First Century Organizations
Reviewed by: Karan Samtani

Every organization wants to retain its best people, because star performers are essential to success. But this maxim has become even more prevalent in today’s business world.

The authors claim that the 20th century was about reforming the business world into factories that valued conformity and having everyone do their tasks in the same way. But the current business climate has people working to solve more problems in more unique ways. The projects that we work on involve quick turn-arounds and efficiency.

In short, the business world has moved away from the conformity of the 20th century and into the creativity of the 21st century. This change has made star performers even more valuable, according to the authors of the study.


Interviews: How to Identify a Deceptive Job Candidate

Almost every company has to go through some type of interviewing process in order to select which applicant they will hire.

But applicants frequently use a deceptive type of impression management, which can lead to organizations hiring the wrong person for the job. This can be a serious issue for companies if they hire a deceptive applicant whose work does not match up with the way they performed in their interview.

Companies cannot hope to completely stop applicants from using deception impression management in interviews. But organizations can try to alleviate the problem by selecting interviewers capable of detecting when an applicant is being deceptive.


How Service Employees React to Mistreatment by Rude Customers

Publication: Personnel Psychology
Article: Service Employees’ Reaction to Mistreatment by Customers: A comparison between North America and East Asia
Reviewed by: Anjali Banerjee

Dealing with rude customers is a universal truth to working in service positions. We’ve all been there, standing awkwardly in the checkout lane as a red-faced customer furiously berates an employee for some perceived injustice or inconvenience. Intriguingly, how employees react to this rude behavior might be influenced by cultural values.


The Consequences of Fit Across Cultures

Previous research has demonstrated that fit – the compatibility between an employee and a work environment – tends to lead to better attitudes, better job performance, and lower turnover (Arthur, Bell, Villado, & Doverspike, 2006). However, this research has focused predominantly on populations in North America. Today, companies operate across geographical boundaries in a globalized world of business, and it does not seem prudent to apply results found in North America to countries in Europe and Asia. Therefore, it becomes necessary to understand if fit across cultures predicts work attitudes and job performance across the globe.


Self-efficacy and Job Performance

Is self-efficacy – the belief in one’s ability to succeed – the result of past performance or a cause of future performance? Research thus far has shown that both perspectives are true: that past performance is a driver of self-efficacy (Kozlowski, Gully, Brown, Salas, Smith, & Nason, 2001) and that self-efficacy is a driver of future performance (Sitzmann & Ely, 2011).


Emotional Labor: How Faking a Smile at Work Affects Job Satisfaction

Publication: Personnel Psychology (2013)
Article: A meta-analytic structural model of dispositional affectivity and emotional labor
Reviewed by: Scott Charles Sitrin

Have you ever given a fake smile to someone at work even though you weren’t feeling happy or very excited to see him? If so, you’ve engaged in a process known as emotional labor in which you manage your emotions in order to act in an appropriate way in a work setting. Maybe you wouldn’t go to such efforts when around friends and family, instead feeling free to express the emotions you actually feel. In a work setting though, it may not be best to show your irritation about missing lunch to your brand new client.