The term pay, figuring in the caption to this column, refers to the pay packet and is used in its noun form. The term performance connotes work done by the fraternity in workforce earning wages in the process, usually stated clearly in advance. While the work done or performance in doing the assigned or agreed upon work can be quantitatively measured and assessed for quality in a multitude of pursuits, one has to resort to the practice of determining work done both in terms of quality and extent of task completed upto a point of time by resorting to the system of hedonic scale, to convert subjectivity to objectivity of judging work done to some extent. The analogy to the issue of quality of work, let alone its quantity, can be drawn from the all-too-familiar substandard nature of roads laid all over the country, Mysuru being in the august company of roads developing potholes, if not craters. Incidents of buildings under construction coming down crashing with fatalities cannot also be missed nowadays. Karnataka abounds in structures getting dilapidated within months after their construction, as reported in dailies.
A revered faculty of a Mysuru-based reputed college, now not alive, lives in the memory of his students for his revealing idiomatic statements. Once such expression namely, “mistakes of the teacher lies buried in notebooks of his students; mistakes of the doctor lies buried a few feet under ground” tells all about parity between performance and pay succinctly.
The subject of judging performance of individuals in doing work is far wider in its implications than is possible to be covered adequately in this short column. One wishes the exercise of assessing work in all situations boils down to the case of students scoring marks in tests and examinations. The world of manufacturing various consumer products and other materials provides easy-to-comprehend examples of assessing work done both in quantitative terms and qualitative. On the other hand, the world of administration, such as in government offices, the exercise of judging one’s work shall be invariably subjective. Pleasant relationships across hierarchy and sour relationships make all the difference.
In the backdrop of the foregoing longish preamble, the news in a business-oriented daily published last week under a four-column heading on front page namely, “Public sector Bank biggies may go for performance linked pay” may disturb the hornet’s nest as it were. The mass of more than 10 lakh bank employees are sure to rake up a debate citing the decennial pay hike for the 50 lakh babus of the Union Government on the suggestion of the Central Pay Commission. One is obliged to keep one’s fingers crossed to the day of reckoning.