Something strange happened at Google recently. Bloomberg alleges that Google paid its top level employees so much that they crossed the line into "F*** You Money" territory, prompting the employees to pack up and quit. While this intriguing turn of events may have transpired at Google and other technology companies, this would never happen on Wall Street for one reason alone: "F*** You Money" is simply not good enough for the fast money crowd. The pinnacle achievement in the investment industry is "F*** Everybody Money."
As the Wall Street Journal aptly noted in their concise chart, most people making less than $10,000 are dissatisfied with life.
As people approach the $100,000 mark, most of them are satisfied. That's why it's not terribly surprising to see stories like this one. Bloomberg reports,
"Early staffers had an unusual compensation system that awarded supersized payouts based on the project's value. In addition to cash salaries, some staffers were given bonuses and equity in the business and these awards were set aside in a special entity. After several years, Google applied a multiplier to the value of the awards and paid some or all of it out. The multiplier was based on periodic valuations of the division, the people said. A large multiplier was applied to the compensation packages in late 2015, resulting in multi-million dollar payments in some cases, according to the people familiar with the situation. One member of the team had a multiplier of 16 applied to bonuses and equity amassed over four years, one of the people said."
The whole purpose of compensation is to prevent employees from leaving. Ironically, Google's high pay caused just the opposite, turning traditional compensation theory on its head. This whole episode will be a case study for human resources departments for years. Why does high pay cease to be an incentive after a certain point? The compensation analysts apparently forgot to read the Wall Street Journal study. Most people are satisfied with "F*** You Money."
Legitimate retention efforts start at the hiring process. If you have such a valuable project, finding highly qualified people is not enough. You have to find people who are both qualified and exponentially driven by money - with no cutoff point. You need someone who isn't satisfied with "F*** You Money." What you need is someone who settles for nothing less than "F*** Everybody Money."
What is "F*** Everybody Money," and where can you find these people? Look no further.