Out of control bonuses have been a prime suspect in the recent financial crisis.
At Mint, we took a different approach. Inspired by Love Machine, we've experimented with the following:
Instead of a management-led exercise in reviewing and ranking team members, simply give everyone in the company the same amount of money, and then tell them to give it away to everyone else, in any way they think makes sense.
(To be clear, 50% of the bonus was allocated in this way. The other 50% was given out at a flat rate across Mint, to ensure that everyone got a bonus in the event that the crowd-sourced approach strongly favored the few.)
What have we seen?