Read the case below and answer the questions that follow:
Case: Is this any way to motivate employees?
Click Commerce Inc. is a diversified software company whose solutions help manage and improve the business processes of multiple industry segments including, aerospace and defence, high-tech, logistics, manufacturing, healthcare, and e-commerce. Its Service Network Solutions division is the leading provider of software that locally manages and globally optimizes complex service networks across an extended enterprise, including logistics and inventory. The company’s solutions enable organizations to monitor materials flow in real-time and adapt quickly to changes, resulting in cost savings, faster customer service and a competitive advantage.
Click Commerce’s offices are similar to other dot.com businesses — casual attire (normally jeans and t-shirts), white boards everywhere for employees to write or sketch on, and an entertainment room with three pinball machines and six Daytona 500 simulators. The Chicago-based company was originally founded in 1996 as Click Interactive, Inc., but changed its name to Click Commerce in December 1999 to better reflect its focus on the business-to-business e-commerce market. The CEO, Michael Ferro, one of the ‘Top 40 Entrepreneurs under 40,’ has led the company through the difficulties of an Internet start-up to a successful initial public offering of stock in June 2000. However, his approach to motivation can be described as a bit unusual because it involves taking employees out of their normal work environment and requiring them to do something completely different as a form of punishment.
Ferro believes that an occasional kick in the pants is good for employee motivation. He has created what he calls the penalty box for his programmers who are burned out or who act overly cocky. In reality, this is a temporary assignment — from a few weeks to a few months — in the company’s sales department. While...