Editing issue 47’s ‘The Pygmalion Effect’ had taken me quite by surprise, as I was not accustomed to seeing others instigate performance by motivation, rather than by demotivation.
It seems to me that the whip rather than the slap on the back is Malta’s standard route. Two vivid examples which come to my mind are when a financial controller had gotten his knickers in a twist after having noted that a salesman’s earnings were superseding the norm by far, and overhearing a business man’s oft-exclaimed “Xejn aktar*?” which followed whichever sales report he asked for.
Alas, it seems that the belief that performance ought to be instigated via ridicule and a display of disappointment is part of our lives, and particularly so within those areas wherein HR is more easily replaceable; the manufacturing industries tend to do this more than their service counterparts.
What would it take to prop people up to their deserved levels of competence? This should well be the HR Manager’s 64 million dollar daily ritual question. And a means of so doing is encouraging - indeed coercing - the top brass into becoming more humane.
“Excerpts from the Diary of an Operator” depicts what happens when this does not.
* meaning “Nothing else?”
Enjoy your read.