Heera Training & Management Consultants

eNewsletter June 2008

Dear Everyone,
Hi! And how are you all? Again a hectic May for me in terms of training, traveling from Penang to Kota Kinabalu and even to Keningau in Sabah. But it was fun. I always tell my friends, I am a very, very lucky person as I have a job that I am passionate about. I get to do something I love, I have the talent for it, I get to meet lots of new people and I get to travel to various places. You cannot ask for more than that, and I feel blessed and therefore savor every day with enthusiasm.    

The other day, a participant of mine came to me and complained that her boss was giving her more than her share of work, inclusive the work of her peers (who were not doing it well). As a result she was stressed and sought my advice about what she should do. This got me thinking about a phenomenon that takes place in most organizations i.e. the tendency to ‘punish their best employees’. 

Don’t ‘Punish’ Your Best Employees

Do you realize what happens when you are a good employee in your organization i.e. your productivity is high, you produce quality work and you achieve all your KPI’s?  Yes, you tend to get ‘punished’ by being given more work and the challenging ones too!! And what happens to the mediocre employees; yes, they get ‘rewarded’ by being given less work! And that is why in most organizations, the same people will be asked to be in all work committees, the same people organize the annual dinners, organize the family days, become change agents  etc etc. 

The question is why does this situation occur? Why do we tend to ‘punish’ high performers by overloading them with a lot of work, while we allow some of our average subordinates to have lots of ‘free’ time, just because they cannot be relied upon? The answer is simple. Managers will always go to people who are reliable. Their priority is to get work done and they are aware that the high performers will ‘do it right’, or produce what the manager wants with minimal supervision. At the same time, managers want to look good in front of their superiors and what better way than to achieve their departmental objectives successfully with lots of assistance from their high performing subordinates. 

My view is that this is perfectly okay and managers cannot be blamed for having this tendency. However, I strongly believe that at the end of the year, when the rewards are distributed, they must be given out correspondingly according to work output. The performers must be rewarded generously, without exception (especially in terms of salary reviews and bonuses)! Importantly, they must be developed for higher positions in the hierarchy. Otherwise, feeling unappreciated, these good performers may leave the organization, or else adapt the philosophy of ‘if you cannot beat them, then join them’. This is when they may allow their performances to deteriorate to the detriment of the department/organization. Organizations can ill afford this situation especially with the limited talent out there in the market. It is the organizations which appreciate, recognize and importantly, reward their talented employees who will continue to have a competitive advantage in the current volatile business environment.

Thanks for taking the time to read this. I do hope I have added a little more to your management knowledge. Take care and have a great month ahead!!

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Heera Singh
Principal Consultant
HEERA Training and Management Consultancy
HP 0126083708