Performance Reviews: Don’t Have A Tommy
by: Kyle Jones
The Performance Review Purpose
Why do we do performance reviews? Do we do them because it is expected of us? Do we do it because we want to better our employees? Do we even do them?
Many supervisors cringe at the thought of annual and/or semi-annual performance reviews. Regardless of which side of the isle you may find yourself on this topic, reviews are not easy. They take time if done right. They create potential disasters if done wrong. They increase employee disconnect if not done at all.
Could they, instead, serve as a key to unlock possibilities?
How often do we get in the usual hustle-and-bustle of things and forget to say “thanks”? Do we assume that employees know? Do some of us even care? Or, are we too busy ourselves to take the time to notice an employee for a job well done?
It is great to praise an employee during a management meeting but it does no good to the organization or the employee if he or she is never told. Let’s take a look at an employee, not unlike many we all have at our own company, and the story of how he left one employer and went to another.
Tommy worked for ABC Company for five years. While he was there his attendance was excellent, his job duties were completed on-time – or before – and he always had a great attitude. Management often used Tommy as an example during managerial meetings using comments such as “If we only had more employees like Tommy” and “I wish I could steal Tommy for my department”.
So, from the above, wouldn’t you think that Tommy is ABC Company’s star employee?
If this were true, why would Tommy, at the beginning of his sixth year, leave ABC to go work for 123 Industries? He would make the same amount of money doing a job practically identical to the one at ABC.
Management at ABC Company was offended. “After all we’ve done for Tommy,” thought the HR Manager. Another Supervisor rationalized that “Tommy must not have been the employee we all thought him to be.” Tommy worked his two-weeks and quietly left the company. He did notice that management seemed distant but thought that it was his imagination. After all, he hadn’t done anything wrong.
ABC mailed him a post-employment survey after he left. Tommy responded and on it he stated: “I liked working there and I didn’t want to leave but I just didn’t feel like I had a future there.” ABC management was stunned! Everyone liked Tommy and expected him to move up in the ranks and be a valuable asset for years to come…until he decided to leave.
So, what was the problem? Why did Tommy leave?
The answer is simple…..while management thought highly of Tommy and his abilities….they made one mistake.
They never told him.
I call the above “A Tommy” as it is not good to assume an employee knows that he or she is appreciated. (It also helps that the name Tommy can be a name used by a male or female.)
Do you have “A Tommy” moment you would like to share?
About the Author
I am a fan of comic books, science fiction, gadgets and a devoted fan of Doctor Who. Professionally, I am the Human Resources Manager at Megagate Broadband, Inc. and served as the first Social Media Director of Mississippi SHRM. I am a longtime SHRM member and continue to serve the HR profession online and as an advisor to MSSHRM council members.
Finally, this blog is my creative outlet and doorway to the world of Doctor Who and HR blogging. For more information, visit one of the following social networks/sites: