A Scenario for Your Consideration

Can of Worms

Here is a scenario for you to think about and comment on:

The Employee Perspective. Veronica is a 23 year old registration clerk in a large university. She has worked there for five years and has always received top performance reviews. Veronica is organized, efficient, friendly and well-liked by her peers. She always goes out of her way to help others solve problems. She has had great ideas for improving the department. She knows that her manager likes her ideas because he has implemented several.

While she enjoys the work she does, particularly her interactions with the students, she dreams of moving into management.

The Manager’s Perspective. Omar has managed Veronica for the past four years. He has had frequent conversations with her about the quality of her work (excellent) and always recommends her for the maximum merit increases.

Omar is frustrated because, in spite of all his positive feedback, it seems like the only thing Veronica can think about is her goal of becoming a manager. Omar avoids the subject with Veronica because, frankly, it is rare for supervisor level position to open at the University. Theirs is a very flat organization. In their group there is only one management position, Omar’s. He is afraid that if he talks about the lack of promotion opportunity, Veronica will begin looking for another job.

The Recognition. Omar presents Veronica with a five-year service award at a team meeting. He talks about all of her strengths and accomplishments in front of her peers. After Veronica receives the award, her work seems to suffer. Her attitude, while not exactly poor, certainly isn’t anywhere near as enthusiastic as it once was.

She does her job but doesn’t go beyond what is expected of her.

Your Analysis

1) Assuming the award triggered Veronica’s attitude change, why do you think that happened?

2) What role do you think Veronica’s age plays in the problem?

3) Which of the four elements of recognition is most lacking for Veronica?

4) What could Omar do to offer the recognition that Veronica most craves?

Post your thoughts and I will comment as well.

Copyright Cindy Ventrice 2008

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2 Responses to “A Scenario for Your Consideration”


  1. 1 Rhonda July 11, 2008 at 5:55 am

    1) Assuming the award triggered Veronica’s attitude change, why do you think that happened?

    The award probably reminded Veronica how long she’s been in her position and how well she has done but doesn’t provide the recognition she seeks – advancement. It may have made her feel she isn’t going to get where she wants to be.

    2) What role do you think Veronica’s age plays in the problem?

    I think her age is a huge thing (but not the only factor). If she has been there for 5 years and is 23, she started at 18. It doesn’t appear she has a degree and advancement to management in higher education without a degree just doesn’t happen anymore – I work in higher ed and have seen the shift.

    3) Which of the four elements of recognition is most lacking for Veronica?

    I don’t know what the four elements are – I’m new to this site.

    4) What could Omar do to offer the recognition that Veronica most craves?

    Encourage her to begin working on a degree. Most institutions of higher offer incentives such as free tuition and some time off to take courses. There are many programs online that are very valuable. Maybe by the time she completes the degree, there will be a position open for advancement.

  2. 2 Cindy Ventrice July 11, 2008 at 8:33 am

    Thanks Rhonda!

    About the four elements, you can find some information in a post about recognition preferences from last year.

    I will add it to the original post.

    Cindy


Comments are currently closed.



My name is Cindy Ventrice. I am the author of the best-selling book Make Their Day! Employee Recognition That Works and the companion guide Recognition Strategies That Work.

My work has been quoted in The New York Times, Alaska Airlines Magazine, Workforce Magazine, and Tim Sanders' book The Likeability Factor.


Visit my website www.maketheirday.com today!


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