A corporate benefit to self-managed teams

Thanks to Esther Derby’s amplification on Lining Up Priorities, I came across Tony Tjan’s blog posting, Four Simple Ways to Make Your Employees Happier.  Tony says,

There is a very simple secret to long-term employee loyalty and retention and it is not money, perks, or stock options. It’s giving them meaningful roles.

This is not an idealistic motherhood-and-apple pie dream, but rather a basic condition of human behavior and psychology that many businesses and leaders often forget: people are driven as much or more by intrinsic meaning as they are by extrinsic rewards.

This is, I think, a little-discussed benefit of the self-management that’s found on successful Agile teams–the employees are motivated by creating value rather than just by pay and perks.  People want to do well for you.  Give them an opportunity and an environment where they can do so.

Agile Compensation

The subject of determining compensation for developers on Agile teams comes up from time to time on the mailing lists. I’m no HR specialist, and I don’t have any easy answers to this question. It seems certainly true that some people will have provided more value than others and should therefore be given more reward. It is also certainly true that if the reward system is geared only toward individual achievement, then teamwork will suffer. Beware the law of unintended consequences.

There’s a whole class of arguments, however, that can be discarded rather easily. (Continued)