Tuesday 16 January 2018

Bonus culture has made us forget that work is not just about making money

Brendan Keenan

Brendan Keenan

I have long been a fan of 'Dilbert', the cartoon strip about a dysfunctional office, to be found in the nether regions of this newspaper. The strip, by Scott Adams, is syndicated from the US. But one last week might have been hand-picked with exquisite care, given its timing and topicality for Irish readers.

The bonus/efficiency furore was at its height. Revelations poured forth at committees from the Central Remedial Clinic (CRC), St Vincent's Hospital and Irish Water. With pretty exquisite timing, in the middle of all this, the new strategic plan from Brendan Howlin's Department of Public Expenditure and Reform was launched, with a focus on efficiency, openness, transparency, accountability, leadership and capability.

Dilbert was on the case. The strip in question had the manager say to the office cat, which is one of the characters: "We need employees that are motivated by our vision, not by money."

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