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Since today is in all likelihood probably a "bye" day for an subsequent posting, Jim gets the benefit of two days of exposure on his good, topical treatment from yesterday.

There were some familiar (and comforting) themes in this posting. First, I was in agreement that promotions are rewards. And initially, I considered it not the primary purpose of promotions, of course. Then I remembered that a promotion has different purposes, for both the employer AND the employee - and that purpose can manifest itself differently for both parties, essentially simultaneously (darn old linear thinking . . . ).

I also liked the approach by the unnamed "outside consultant" of using an aggregation of existing recognition, to create a “performance proxy” for identifying superior performers. I know at least one federal government agency that has resorted to a similar strategy, which became necessary to identify superior performers - not in the absence of an existing performance management or performance pay system, but because everyone carried around the label of a “superior performer”. Suffice that it helped the federal agency differentiate the “superior performers” from the superior performers, but that’s a story for another day. Cheers!

Thanks for the feedback, Chris. Many veteran HR people have heard the refrain, "in my department, the average performer is above average," and know how to translate it while their eyes roll. Sort of like what Orwell said regarding equity, about "some animals being more equal than others."

Overstated lazy labels awarded to stroke egos for morale tend to be ignored when the organization has a critical need for real output results from true top achievers. But then what is their useful practical "performance proxy"? When the credibility of the performance management process has been lost, what can you use?

I'd love to see you write up that story, Chris.

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