How to kill a great performer

Theme continued from the last post on appraisals

For most sales guys, a pat on the back, a small note saying you’ve done a great job takes him to heights and makes him so wanted in the organisation. Pats and commendations apart, the time comes when appraisals are done and increments are doled out. To be told that you are good is fine, but at the end of the day, how does it reflect in the appraisal form? Does it say that you have met my expectations? Or does it say that you have exceeded expectations of you?

The issue is how do you rate the real performers- There might be hundreds of yardsticks that are printed in the HR manual- But how do you, as manager, recognize effort and the work put in of your subordinates? A very difficult question because I haven’t done it till now. But then I have my views- views which as like everybody have formed working under great managers and under the most difficult ones.

Many managers tend to be swayed by how a subordinate reports to him, how he interacts with him and how subservient he is. Which I agree is part of human nature. But as managers, objectivity has to take centre stage- objectivity in terms of contributions and efforts put in. This puts the great manager in a different league altogether. Great managers tend not to take professional arguments, disputes, shouting etc to heart. A manager who gets swayed by subjective feelings alone for an individual is just not managerial material. Most importantly great managers tend to look after their team as a family unit- objective at work, but helping individuals in even personal issues.

Which takes me to a small deviation- how and when do sales guy shout/argue with managers? They do it only when they are sure about something or have a strong conviction about something. If at the wrong end, they keep their mouth shut.

A sure fire way of demoralizing a great performer (performer in terms of figures, in terms of efforts and in terms of overall contribution to the company) is to not give him what he deserves. Especially if he has exceeded all targets and done brilliantly well. The moment that happens, he loses interest in working- it’s a normal question we all ask ourselves- “Why should I work if I am not recognized? Why should I work if they cant give me a decent grading?”

Questions that destabilize the team and increases attrition rates.

So can we implement a system where the floor also votes on who are the great performers? These votes, I guess might give an indication!!

On second thoughts, would it? Not sure – Issue of subjectivity again!!!


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