Stewardship as a Means for Greater Pay!

Seldom if ever, do I hear that team members, supervisors, and even Human Resources representatives enjoy the arduous task of preparing and conducting the annual performance appraisal?

The evaluation form is most always evokes frustration and disappointment.  Why?  It seldom provides opportunity for the subordinate to say anything other what is in the evaluation.  The questions posed or the information sought on an appraisal if one studies closely are how well the team member followed the rules.  It is not about performance; the evaluation is about compliance.

Most organizations view the annual review as an act of generosity because, after all, there is always a small raise included with the yearly endeavor.  Still, even with a raise, the employee walks out of the manager’s office disillusioned.  The colleague is made to feel like a child, and the employer is a parent.  It only makes sense that we cannot bring about an aura of ownership, that is stewardship if a working professional is made to feel that he or she is dependent upon the company’s generosity.

Peter Block in his insightful book, Stewardship Choosing Service over Self-Interest, states “We need a reward system that gives preference to service over self-interest.  A system that values accountability for the success of the enterprise.  This type of reward system means we all get paid for outcomes of concrete value to the organization.”

It is time for organizations to brainstorm a strategy that brings about institutionalizing stewardship.  Block believes that three elements are vital to creating stewardship in the organization.  One is to end the secrecy of how pay systems work; employees should know how everyone is paid.  Second, pay systems need to define and affirm the company’s purpose.  Create a means of remuneration that values teamwork while being successful in the development of new products and high scores of customers’ satisfaction.  Thirdly, and no doubt most difficult for many leaders is to share the wealth.

purpose          rd-light-bulb

Whatever the enterprise, wealth is brought about at every level an organization.  Institutions should find ways to pay people as much as possible rather than as little as possible.  A monumental and paramount requirement necessary to balance the wealth is no longer separating leadership and the doing of the work.


Developing a new pay system that balances the wealth can be amazingly simple.  Take the compensation structure that exists for your organization’s top two levels, whatever it might be, and roll it down through the organization.