Molly Dibianca at Delaware Employment Blog describes a person she knows who was passed over for promotion at a large company in the private sector. The difficult thing for the friend was that the manager who apparently tried to get her the promotion broke the news to her quickly with no elaboration. See Delaware Employment Law Blog blog post. The manager felt terrible about the news. He thought the friend had been done wrong in not getting the promotion.
In the end what bothered the friend the most was that she felt unappreciated. Molly is trying to make the point that a well placed compliment can mean so much to an employee. In the Army, we were trained to appreciate our subordinates and to let them know they were appreciated. We received leadership training at several key junctures in our career. We practiced various counseling sessions regarding subpar performance. Where was this manager’s training? Did no one tell him the value of a compliment?
I have questioned and reviewed documents regarding many companies. Manager training is not universal. Many managers conduct counseling sessions exactly the opposite of how it ought to be done. In one of my own prior jobs, managers received no training. So, it is not surprising that manager turnover was very high.
The costs of poor training roll down hill. Employees who should grow into senior management become, instead discouraged employees and sometimes leave. And, over time, as other things go wrong, discouraged employees often become plaintiffs in a lawsuit. So, what is the value of a compliment? What is the value of a proper counseling session?