Plus most teachers saw the pay for performance system as inevitable, and therefore wanted to be involved from the start of the plan (Gratz, 2005).
The pilot faced many challenges. Not the least, the district was faced with the logistical challenge of linking the students in various databases to the teachers. The internal systems for tracking student progress by teacher simply didn't exist. In addition, non-academic staff members had to have appropriate standards devised, such as nurses (Gratz, 2005).
The Denver pilot program experienced the difficulties that were quite unexpected with the implementation of a pay for performance system. The one result that was expected, improved student performance, was interestingly not due to the financial incentives offered. Instead, it came because of the district's commitment to enhancing the entire teaching process. By doing this, they were able to not only boost test scores, but create more effective schools in the process.
Relevant Considerations in Implementation:
There are certain considerations that must be taken into considerations when implementing a pay for performance system. First, the system must be aligned with the strategic direction of the district. Also, in order to attract, motivate and retain the best teachers available, the system must be competitive in financial rewards (Rishell & Becker, 2004).
Performance measurement and goal setting must be made at the district level, and supported at all levels. From the beginning, these measurements must be determined as well as the degree of judgment employed in making incentive award decisions (Rishell & Becker, 2004). but, to compliment this system, as Denver discovered, the entire teaching process must be supported, including career development and enhanced training for the teachers to facilitate their goal achievement.
Brief Plan for Employee Communication:
From the beginning, employees need to be involved in the development and implementation of the pay for performance system. Communication begins with an open forum meeting to decide what aspects should be measured, what goals are appropriate, and the incentives to be rewarded. Core competencies must be identified by staff members and as in the case of nurses or librarians the process of expressing these competencies must be decided (Brotherton, 2003).
Once this information is determined, the district needs to draw up a formalized plan. The formalized plan needs to be explained in detail, clarifying any questions the employees may have. Once the system is implemented, any measurements gathered need to be shared immediately with the employees, such as test scores of students with the appropriate teachers, in order to ensure the maximum motivation.
Impact of Pay for Performance on the Organization:
Performance for pay systems can be a win-win situation ("Pay for performance," 2004). The teachers can benefit from the opportunity for increased financial compensation, the students can benefit from more effective teaching, and the district can benefit from better schools. In addition, this trend of utilizing pay for performance system, is certain to become a more significant factor in the years to come, in attracting, motivating and retaining the best teachers available (Sturman, Trevor, Boudreau, & Gerhart, 2003).
For this reason, pay for performance systems are certain to impact the current HR practices and programs within the district currently. It will become inevitable that the district will be forced to put this type of system in place, to remain competitive, and to ensure compliance with the No Child Left Behind Act. For this reason, it is recommended that a program be implemented as soon as possible.
As mentioned this program should not only be tied to the students' test scores, but should also include career development. An effective program will support the entire educational process, and not simply be test intensive.
The primary concern with this program is the likelihood that teachers will narrow their focus to hyper-focus on testing. Again, by basing part of the measurement on career development, along with test scores, hopefully the system will avoid this pitfall that was experienced in Denver. It may be inappropriate to link salaries such as school nurses, lunch staff and janitorial staff to pay for performance.
Brotherton, P. Meyners pays for performance. Journal of Accountancy, 196(1). Retrieved June 13, 2005, from Business Source Premier database.
Gratz, D.B. (Apr 2005). Lessons from Denver: The pay for performance pilot. Phi Delta Kappan, 86(8). Retrieved June 13, 2005, from ProQuest database.
Pay for performance say Kiwi workers. (Jun 2004). New Zealand Management, 51(5). Retrieved June 13, 2005, from Business Source Premier database.
Rishell, M. & Becker, W. (Nov 2004). Pay for performance: The CFO's stake. Strategic Finance, 86(5). Retrieved June 13, 2005, from Business Source Premier database.