business news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

The Washington Post this morning has a story about how a group of Chinese construction and furniture companies in China has approached the issue of how to incentivize and motivate employees.

Make them eat worms if they don't hit their goals and benchmarks.

That's right.

According to the story, at a recent meeting "a leader of the sales group called out the names of about a half dozen employees who had not achieved their sales goals at a public event and then made them swallow live worms. Fortunately, alcohol was also provided. Unfortunately, a pregnant woman was part of the group and was unable to comply with the request – but thankfully a kind man stepped in to take her place."

All of which sounds really bad. But there's a kicker, according to the Post:

"Amazingly, the employees accepted this punishment because…get ready…they set it themselves. To them, the mealworm threat is encouragement to work harder."

However, even in China there are lawyers standing up to say that such policies are inappropriate and a violation of Chinese labor laws.

I'd be a little careful about going to court on this one, though. Because if you lose, who knows what the punishment will be?

Probably an Eye-Opener.
KC's View: