Monday, February 04, 2008

Merit Marks

The OED defines Merit as having any admirable quality or attribute; "work of great merit"

So I had to roll my eyes when I came across this little ditty from a highly ingenious, forward-thinking and creative company based in the UK.

Merit Marks

If you do something nice (empty the dishwasher, comment on Jenny's new haircut) you get merit marks. The person with the most merit marks gets a great prize at the end of the year.

This style of thinking - rewarding 'good' behaviour with 'Merit Marks' is indicative of a failing school system, bent on demanding outwardly 'nice' behaviour through offering rewards for behaviour that should simply be expected, and encouraged, naturally. In reality, Merit Marks runs the risk of breeding contentment, competition and worse of all... insincerity amongst employees.

Besides, there are many other ways to foster a community of positive, relaxed and productive employees than watching over them, ready to drop a "Jolly good, Smith! I see you've emptied the dishwasher. Here's a lolly pop."


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