I’m tired of performance bonuses

That way, Investissement Québec (IQ) wouldn’t pay out performance bonuses, it would only kick two recruits from the financial community into its ranks.

That said Guy LeBlanc, CEO of Investissement Québec, during his appearance in a parliamentary committee on Wednesday.

“If there were no bonuses at Investissement Québec in terms of attracting and retaining talent, we would have strictly financial sector people who have not found work,” he said.

Basically, without bonuses, LeBlanc assumes that Investissement Québec would end up with employees no one wants and would be sentenced to mediocrity.

“The area [de la] finance, confirms Guy LeBlanc, it is a performance paid environment and it is people who are “driven” [motivés] because of the results, you would rather give a base compensation that is slightly lower […] and adjust based on results.

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Bonuses that make you competent?

His “boss”, Economy Minister Pierre Fitzgibbon, backs him: “If you want leaders coming from the private market […]“I think it’s clear that you have to have a market-specific reward. For example IQ […] competes with numerous jurisdictions to source customers abroad.”

According to a statement from my colleague Sylvain Larocque, the number of employees at Investissement Québec went from 515 (March 2018) to 1079 at the end of December last year. Of the 564 employees who have joined the Crown Corporation, 189 are from outside the government.

The remaining 375 come from the Ministry of Economy and the Center for Industrial Research of Quebec as part of the IQ reform. The latter have seen their pay rise after their switch to IQ.

Ask Guy LeBlanc and Pierre Fitzgibbon: Have these 375 employees become more competent and motivated since they got a performance bonus?


Would private sector people who agree to be hired by IQ, Hydro-Québec, Loto-Québec, or the SAQ without receiving performance bonuses be less motivated to do a good job and underperform?

I doubt.

I find it offensive to associate competence and motivation with a performance bonus, also known as variable pay.

As far as I know, the Prime Minister, ministers, party leaders, MPs, cabinet ministers and other political personnel… are not necessarily “spades” because they work with no performance bonuses!

Does this mean that civil servants and paralegals are less competent and motivated because they do not receive a performance bonus? Let’s see!

Does this mean that all private sector employees who do not receive variable pay (or performance bonuses) are less good, less competent, less efficient? Let’s see!

I’ve had enough of this reasoning that we have to pay performance bonuses to attract competent people from the private sector.

In addition, collecting performance bonuses does not automatically guarantee competence. There are many business leaders who have earned generous performance bonuses in the past without being efficient and competent.

Let’s take it for granted!

After being challenged by the leader of Québec solidarity, Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, who is fed up with the bonuses paid by state-owned companies, Prime Minister François Legault said he wanted “ultimately” to abolish the bonuses awarded to managers and employees of crown companies such as SAQ and Loto-Québec.

But as these bonuses are subject to contractual clauses, “we can’t just throw that in the bin overnight,” added Mr Legault.

In short, tomorrow is not the day before!

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