Image via Pixabay.

The concept of “Performance Bonus” can be a rather cynical label when we see leaders rewarded for their PR-clicks than actual leadership and management performance.

Some, and possibly a growing number of, organisational leaders appear to focus mostly on BS PR exercises instead of tackling hard problems in their organisations. They initiate feel-good cultural campaigns, rebranding exercises, and restructuring programmes not in response to actual problems, but rather to improve their profile.

These PR moves clearly sucker in both shareholders and the public alike. Shareholders and the public do not have access, or sufficient in-depth interest in, the inner workings of the organisation. The words of the leader is their primary source of information about the organisation. And those words are carefully curated by specialists. As a society, we seem to have this misplaced or unquestioned faith in the competency and integrity of business leaders. There is this assumption that someone who is a CEO of a large company must by definition be able and ethical. Scrutiny and accountability can also appear to be inapplicable to senior leaders.

These leaders hoover up the accolades and their “performance” bonuses. Some even continue to receive performance bonuses in spite of poor performance or ethically questionable behaviours! The shrewd ones also seem to know precisely when to move onto their next post (or retired to “spend more time with family”) before any catastrophic collapse or discoveries occur.

A responsible organisation and their shareholders would ensure bonuses reward actual performance. Performance that is for the good of the organisation at the very least, let alone performance in a larger context like social and environmental impact.