There are of course many ways to invoke fear and I will give you my pro tip here: fire the worst 10% every year. “Worst” here refers to obedience, not performance, hell no. Firing a well paid performer cuts salary costs more, so that is just a bonus.
One great thing about this is that you only need to make resources believe that this scheme exists to stir up enough fear. As long as they think that across the company, ten percent are fired for not performing, all is well.
Let the resources know that officially speaking, everyone fired this way are said to have quit on their own request. We do not want to make matters worse, do we? This way, resources can not tell which is which, did they quit or were they fired?
How to do it
The easiest way to go about this is to have some kind of review process where management can put arbitrary marks but that is a bit lame. Resources will just see through that. Better to use some pseudo metrics that look like it was objective.
Many goals at different levels, company goals, department goals, group goals and individual goals will give you enough smoke screen to hide that it is just a show where you get to pick who stays and who will go off the cliff.
A favourite metric of mine is the PPP goal, Peers’ Perceived Performance. Anonymous (of course) resources are asked to make judgements about their peers. It will partly create a prisoner’s dilemma which is always nice, resources must not trust each other.
You own the goals, you own the results, you own the resources.
Enjoy the power that comes from fear of losing the job!