In the traditional academic workplace, compensation is set from top. That way resources get distributed fairly and institutional priorities can take precedence.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting about a new model for bonuses in which colleagues reward each other. As practiced at a coffee shop in San Francisco, employees receive a certain amount of shares that they can distribute to their coworkers, in essence voting for how much they value each other’s contributions.
This model requires leadership to cede some control but can also bring to their attention the work of some less visible employees. If academic medicine is going to take the concept of collaboration seriously, peer bonuses are one way to recognize excellence in that area.
Of course, tying teamwork to compensation is not the only way to do that. Praise comes in many forms.