Hostgator just published excerpts from an internal company email:
I’m temporarily taking away the lunch list and inviting everyone in both Austin as well as Houston to free lunches regardless of numbers, ratings, tardiness or absences. I’m going to think about making this a permanent change, but am not ready to make this decision just quite yet.
You are all allowed to personal browse, respond quickly to a text message, and, in general, have more fun. Those who are doing this will not be written up, or punished in any shape or form.
So this tells me that Hostgator believes it staff behave like irresponsible children who have to be given punishments and rewards to keep them in line. In other words, people work best when they are scared.
I don’t buy that. A good company inspires its staff so much that it doesn’t have to manipulate their behaviour. There is no problem with “numbers, ratings, tardiness or absences” because people love working there. Zappos apparently offers every new employee $3,000 to quit after their first week, and almost nobody takes it.
The more comfortable people feel, the better they can do creative work. The more at home they feel, the more they want to do a good job so as not to let everyone else down. Motivating people with fear just encourages them to do the minimum and not take risks.