I knew a guy from a large family. Each night after dinner his parents assigned all the children chores. He said his favorite chore was sweeping the floor. There were so many people moving around that all he had to do was slowly walk around the table pulling out a chair and sliding it back in. He made himself look busy until he just quietly put the broom away and called it good.
We learned the hard way in our companies that often times people are rewarded not for productive behavior but just for being busy. Not because they are trying to fool people but because of the way the system is set up.
We recognized that in order to reward productive behavior not just activity, we had to find ways to recognize, measure, and reward how people produce rather than just how they occupy time. Let me explain...