Enterprise IT Watch Blog

Dec 2 2009   2:45PM GMT

They break it, you buy it

Michael Morisy Michael Morisy Profile: Michael Morisy

What???  meh thinks it lookz better this wai..Foreclosure isn’t easy for anyone involved, particularly those homeowners who feel tricked into mortgages they can no longer pay and so face eviction. The results are often not pretty, as the Wall Street Journal reports in Buyer’s Revenge:

The stucco subdivisions of Las Vegas are caught up in the nation’s foreclosure crisis. These days, bankers and mortgage companies often find that by the time they get the keys back, embittered homeowners have stripped out appliances, punched holes in walls, dumped paint on carpets and, as a parting gift, locked their pets inside to wreak further havoc. Real-estate agents estimate that about half of foreclosed properties to be sold by mortgage companies nationwide have “substantial” damage, according to a new survey by Campbell Communications, a marketing and research firm based in Washington, D.C.

With the former homeowners losing their most valuable asset, it’s tough to re-coup the lost costs after the destruction has occurred, so banks have given up on the stick and turned to the carrot: Cash rewards for leaving early or even just on time and not having trashed the home.

Could the same approach work for IT?

Inevitably, equipment and even software breaks: Motherboards die, laptop screens fizzle, a virus gets through the firewall and anti-virus. Sometimes, it’s user error and other times it is faulty equipment. Often times, users will try and pass off the former as the latter, or pass the blame. According to some informal discussions in the forum, policies are generally clear: Employees are responsible for their possessions. But what about users who do take good care of their computers? While companies probably can’t get away with docking pay stubs for extra help desk tickets, perhaps the inverse is true: Users who self-help with forums or go to other employees to fix basic configuration problems, rather than draining limited resources, could be eligible for a reward, either a small bonus or even just a gift card.

Good idea? Recipe for disaster? Let me know what you think at Michael@ITKnowledgeExchange.com, particularly if you’ve tried an incentive program before.

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