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Good Managers

60 Weeks of Gratitude - Week 15

We fell right back into the groove of our lives after getting back from Illinois. Jeff went back to work. I went back to work. The girls went back to school. On the outside everything just clicked along. But it was a week of disappointment. It was a week of feeling undervalued for the efforts put in at both Jeff’s job and one of mine. Promotions were handed down this week and I was not on the list although I have been a top performer on my team since day one. I have helped train new team members; I have picked up the slack when team members left. I am always quick to get in-house training accomplished. I take on difficult projects anytime I am asked. I have been with the company for seventeen months. There is no reason I should not have been approved for promotion.

I spoke with my direct managers and learned that they advocated for me. They were surprised by how few promotions were granted this year and seemed baffled by the exclusions. They could give me no reason for why I was not promoted. People above them made the decision, people who do not know me, people who have not been around to see the work I put in. On what criteria did they base their refusal? Was it just a spreadsheet with my evaluation, my resume, and my name? What were the determining factors for who was promoted and who wasn’t? Will we see another round of attrition for employees who felt they earned the promotion and were dismissed without so much as a letter of explanation or recommendations for improvement for the next round? Is that what we were witnessing at the end of 2022?

Has corporate America lost sight of the bottom of the pyramid? Have they gotten so bottom-line focused that they have lost the human element? Are the people running the companies spending their days looking at spreadsheets and diagrams trying to figure out how to squeeze even more productivity from an already squeezed human element? Is there a disconnect between the people running companies and the people doing the product-level work of the company? Is there some shift above middle management where they lose sight of the individuals and see only the result of their toil? My team managers are still engaged and connected to the team, aware of our strengths and weaknesses. They were as baffled as we were when so few promotions came down. They had no answers to offer. If there is a disconnect it happens somewhere above them.

If I step back, though, and look at the forest and not just the tree that is blocking my path forward, I can see that the decision to offer fewer promotions in this review cycle was probably driven by the state of the economy and banking more than big business being overfocused on their spreadsheets. Maybe they did not feel they could justify as many promotions during this cycle in light of the tenuous state of banking right now. We are married to the banking industry and when its footing is unsteady it seems that our footing would be unsteady as well. There is a bigger picture than the small piece that impacted me this week. Taking a minute to look at the bigger picture helped me to realign in my dedication to a company that has been good to me. It helped me to step out of my emotions and use my logical brain to see what else may have factored into the promotion decisions. There was a time in my life when I was driven by emotion and would not have been able to take that critical step back. If getting older has given me anything, it has given me the ability to find objectivity. I am grateful that they are not cutting their workforce and that I still feel secure in my position.

On a more personal note, my publisher reached out midweek just to see how we were doing after the loss of my mother. I was impressed and touched. She is running a business from the ground up and took the time to check on me, just one of her many authors and editors. Those small things are so important, especially in a world that has gone remote. I have never met Lynn in person, but I value her presence in my life beyond her role. She snuck into my life through a crack and now I can’t imagine my life without her.

This week, in a week of disappointment following a month of loss, I am grateful. I am grateful for the amazing people in my life. I am grateful for relationships that continue to grow. I am grateful for a certain amount of job security. I appreciate those who recognize my worth and see what I bring to the table. I am grateful to have learned that my managers advocated for me and I will continue giving 110% to those who believe in me. A good manager can make a person want to work harder, do better, and do more. I have been fortunate in both of my jobs to work for and with good people.


Bookfunnel Promos for the Month of April



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