Modern managers have been almost guilt-tripped with the idea that they don’t give enough praise and recognition to employees. It is said to be the key to engaged employees who are highly productive even when their manager isn’t watching. It has proven to lead to more profitable companies. Employees join companies, but leave supervisors who don’t effectively manage engaged relationships, HR has assured us.
I don’t disagree with any of that, but woe to the supervisor who isn’t wary of its double-edged sword.
I have had several employees in my career who were obviously rising stars. No doubt they were all “my right hand.” We took them to lunch on their anniversary and birthday. They were given high-profile projects to stretch and showcase their talents that could potentially lead them to future promotions.
To coordinate this performance with their pay levels, they were paid at the midpoint of their salary range after only a couple of years in their position. It was easy for me to think I was getting everything right, a model manager, in terms of praise, recognition, and engagement with my employees.