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Are You Falling for Performance Punishment?

Staffing shortages, steady and growing business activity and the need to do more with less. This is a common topic of discussion among business owners and manager. As you do you best to manage expectations and get the most out of your team, watch out for the management pitfall that is “Performance Punishment.”

Businesses in many different areas are faced with continued challenges of short staffing and challenges with training and development. Many times that means leaning on your top team members for extra effort, but the risk is expecting too much leading to a situation termed “Performance Punishment”.

In a recent article titled The Pitfalls of “Performance Punishment” by Pete Hillier, he defined the concept as “ the negative consequences that high performing individuals may face as a result of their exceptional productivity. This can include being given additional tasks or responsibilities, being expected to work longer hours, or being subjected to additional scrutiny or criticism.”

The impacts can be negative not just for the employee but also for the employer as this can increase burnout, push employees to look for new opportunity and even have a negative impact on their performance and outcomes.

While there are several different strategies employers can take to avoid this mistake or correct the issue two of the biggest steps are simply focusing developing your team as a whole so that the pressure to succeed isn’t placed only on the top performers, and to hold everyone accountable for their role. Sometimes the pressure isn’t just because of short staffing but instead leaders being non-confrontational with staff that aren’t performing to the level needed.

For both the leader and the team of employees making a concerted effort to find a good work-life balance can be critical to retaining your best employees and getting the most out of the whole team!