Tag Archives: Motivation

In China, hot girls were hired to motivate programmers

Categories: Management, Motivation, Popular Posts, Software Development | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How do you motivate a stubborn programmer?
My experience with programmers is that very few of them care even slightly about the experience of the people who will one day use their programs. The commenting in the code for other programmers to read is not even that clear in many instances. Most programmers just want to be left alone to do their work the way they want, how they want and when they want. Deadlines are almost never honored, and instructions are almost always taken lightly. Very few programmers were even motivated by money. I offered large amounts of money to many programming companies who politely declined stating that I was, “Not a good fit.” I told them that I am giving you money to do programming work and you are a programming company — how am I not a good fit? The managers at programming companies are as impossible to motivate as the programmers. So, what is the secret?

The Chinese are masters of innovation.
The Chinese have always been an innovative people from thousands of years ago. When they had a problem with the Mongols, they built the longest wall in human history. They even innovated a way to deal with all of the dead bodies of the workers by burying them in the wall! The Chinese created gun powder, many forms of martial arts, gardening, and even new aspects of semantic internet searches. A few years ago I predicted that if anyone could master the art of dominating the computer programming industry, it would be the Chinese. I was right, but not in a way that I expected.

Hiring beautiful cheerleaders to motivate programmers works!
Specialists who understand the importance of building a healthy corporate culture understand that you need positive upbeat people to build a motivated and fun work environment. Cliffbar, Google and Starbucks actively embrace this principle. A few years ago, I had the thought that call centers in Manila and Central America should hire good looking girls to interact with their workers to add a good feeling to their day. Call centers are apparently very stubborn about improving the grueling conditions of their work. But, the Chinese are not. It is commonplace in Chinese companies (and restaurants) for the workers to all get together and share a meal. Eating is an integral part of the Chinese culture, and communal eating is just as much. Eating together makes people feel good and feel more connected. But, I am happy that the Chinese implemented “my” idea of having lovely ladies improve the grueling conditions of the work day. Why not look forward to coming to work? Your wife might not like it, but at least you’ll show up for work and give it your all.

Productivity is up
The programmers in China, India and other countries are mostly male and very anti-social. Programming is a bit like mechanics intellectually. Guys like fixing things while women just want to be listened to which is why guys dominate programming. But, having these ladies around seems to get the guys to produce better. Men tend to be more motivated in general if there is a woman who is appreciative of what they do according to “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus. It seems that the Chinese managers must have read that book or have an understanding of the concept. The easiest way to get a guy to stop trying is to have a woman who doesn’t give him any appreciation.

What do these ladies actually do?
The programming cheerleaders buy breakfast for the programmers so they have the energy to do a long day of work. They also chat with the programmers which is very valuable since most of the programmers lack the ability to interact with the opposite gender, or even with their own gender, and probably also with dogs and cats as well (insufficient data for the last claim.) The ladies must be talented and smooth (and probably patient) at interacting with the socially handicapped. In a sense, they are like therapists or psychiatrists in a very pedantic way.

What do the wives of the programmers think about this?
I can imagine that someone’s wife might not want their husband regularly hanging around with beautiful women at work. It is bad enough that your husband works with women, but beautiful women who give them a ton of attention? But, maybe this is what men need. I go through my day getting absolutely no attention from women other than my housemates. Imagine how much better I would feel if I was paid some positive attention by someone in their twenties or thirties who was female and voluptuous. This problem is my fault for living in Los Angeles. Women here are relentlessly unfriendly. But, the minute I cross the border into New Mexico, I get tons of positive attention from everyone! Maybe I should be living there!

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Are bonuses really the best incentive?

Categories: Motivation | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Are bonuses really the best incentive?

The subject of motivation is a troubling one for me. I have a lot of it, but can’t seem to find ways to motivate others. Others do what they feel like. They are often not motivated by money no matter how desperately they need cash. They are not motivated even by success. Bonuses and commissions motivate people to a point, but they are also complicated. If your industry is slow for a month, your salesperson might lose their bonus when it is not their fault. Sales quotas are not a really good measuring stick of someone’s achievement. The other problem with bonuses is that they can create an unhealthy attitude towards competition which might not be good for the collaborative future of your company’s work culture. Sometimes it makes more sense to give real feedback to the employees. Tell them what customers felt. Talk to them about how meaningful their work is for the company. Share your vision for the future of the company. If they don’t share the vision, it is not always so easy to get them to share your dream.

I just was reading an article about motivating workers by making them aware of the larger impact of their work. But, how do you use this strategy to get them to subscribe to your larger vision for your company? Most workers just don’t care that much about long term visions. It is about them making money, and/or being a hero in the work-world. These are selfish goals and have nothing to do with the company’s long term contribution to society.

I have learned that selling your vision to visionless people is not so easy. But, you can use psychological buttons to do this. You can put them in the position of the consumer or society. Ask them how they would feel if they did business with a company who not only gave good service, but did a lot of extra meaningful things as well verses one who merely got the job done. If they can feel the meaningfulness of the vision, they are more likely to subscribe. Remember, there is reason, and there is emotion. Emotion sells a whole lot better than reason with 99% of the people!

(1) re workers motivated by bonuses or by being told of their positive impact on society?
(2) I have learned that selling your vision to visionless people is not so easy.

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