to incentivize sloppy work

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Senior Member
An imaginary situation: A group of translators in a company are evaluated based on their performance. The default score is 100%, but you will be marked down for misspellings, unidiomatic sentences, poor capitalization, incorrect punctuations, etc. Nonetheless, everyone receives a monthly bonus regardless of their average score:

99 - 100% ($100)
97 - 98.99% ($70)
95 - 96.99% ($50)
94.99% and below ($20)

There's new manager now and he's changed the rules. From now on, non-performers or those who will get lower than 95% will not receive a bonus anymore. He explains his action to his subordinates (supervisors) in their first meeting:

I find it strange that they (= the previous management) would incentivize sloppy work.​

Does it sound natural in that setting?
  • epistolario

    Senior Member
    Yes. At least it sounds as natural as incentivize ever will. Judging from my experience with managers, some of them do love business jargon.
    Thanks. I asked because it seems that the verb incentivize is uncommon and formal. It didn't look right when combined with sloppy work, which sounds colloquial.


    Senior Member
    You're welcome.
    It didn't look right when combined with sloppy work, which sounds colloquial.
    People who love jargon are unlikely to be troubled by stylistic concerns.

    PS I think you may be worrying too much about formal versus colloquial English. I don't notice rigid distinctions between the two in the natural speech of my compatriots. Of course, many of us avoid swearing when we're trying to be polite, but that is really about as far as formality goes.
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