Participation Trophies at Work

Found this post while cleaning up my drafts and decided to publish it. I wrote this almost two years ago, yet didn’t need to change a thing.  

I have yet to meet a millennial that enjoys being called a millennial. I often hear from my fellow generation that they are often called out in meetings for probably being too young to understand a reference, or too young to remember such and such event or some other ridiculous comment. When there’s only one or two young folks in the meeting room out of twenty, this can be very uncomfortable and slightly embarrassing. We are often talked to like we are responsible for an entire generation of people, for example “your generation is lazy because you all received participation ribbons.” or “you have never lived without technology and that’s ruining you all.” I usually listen with a nice warming smile, but I’m screaming at you in my head. I don’t want to take responsibility for how my generation turned out (mostly because your generation raised us)!

I don’t understand the uproar over the participation ribbon phenomenon because we didn’t give them to ourselves. This particular topic is one that will send any boomer or gen xer into an uproar even though it can be linked directly back to them. Going back to the time we were all running around a soccer field as tots to now. Why up until now? Because they are still handing out participation ribbons. That problem employee that you wish had a better attitude, you aren’t correcting it and you’re still signing a paycheck for that person every week. That entitled employee that thinks he knows everything isn’t being counseled by you because you don’t feel like dealing with him, but you’ll sign his paycheck every week. That employee that’s late every single day isn’t getting written up because you don’t have the time to sit down with her, but you still sign her paycheck every week. That employee who is only grasping half of her job isn’t receiving any further training because you can’t deal with her millennial attitude, but you can still sign her paycheck every week.

We don’t live in a perfect world so the stereotypes will always exist. The next generation to enter the workforce will endure their hazing that every previous generation has endured in years before them. They will listen to the snarky comments and smile when being called out for being to young (or incompetent) to understand what every one is talking about. We can’t get rid of the stereotypes overnight, but what we can do is try to fix the problem instead of contribute to it. If you don’t like what your “millennials” are doing, then talk to them about it. Stop going to seminars (led by people who are not millennials) about how to work with millennials and how to talk to them and just treat them like human beings. I can tell you right now how to talk to millennials:

Step 1) Find a millennial

Step 2) Open mouth

Step 3) Say words

Bam! Easy enough? And you saved a couple hundred bucks. We are not super secret, hard to understand human beings. We are employees who come to work just like you do and need guidance and feedback sometimes. We are the future of your organization and we will be responsible for the generations after us, just like you should feel responsible for us. We will carry on the legacy of our chosen fields and the organizations that we work for. You will one day pass the torch on to our generation and we hope you can do so with words of wisdom and encouragement instead of crappy remarks about how we conduct ourselves. We aren’t all the same and we know that everyone in your generation isn’t the same.

Here’s what I really want to know: What are you doing at work to address your “millennial problems?” Are you still complaining about participation trophies, but letting your workforce go rewarded for poor performance?

Pamper your millennials

So you want to retain the best and the brightest millennial talent? How can you do that? Pamper them, duh! Throw things like stacks of money, bring your pet to work, unlimited snacks, nap rooms, and tequila shots at them. They will want to work for you and stay there forever!!!

drinking at work

Now that I have your attention lets address some misconceptions. You don’t have to do a bunch of flashy things to get your millennials to like you. It can be much simpler than that.

I was recently in a planning meeting for an upcoming event in our area and the committee was making a list of key young professionals to invite. This is an event where top employers will have access to who we invite and plenty of networking time to take advantage of. Someone made the comment “how do we make sure that other companies don’t recruit our good millennials” Without skipping a beat I said “we don’t have anything to worry about if we are taking care of them.” The response to that comment was “throw a bunch of money at them,” accompanied by an unsettling wink.

Here’s my millennial + HR perspective on this solution. No. Millennials don’t need more money, well most of us could use more money, but that’s not solving our problems. For example, say you have a millennial that has a very specific career path carved out for herself and wants to sit down with you and talk about how to execute the appropriate steps for said career path. Throwing money at her will not solve that problem. What if you have a millennial who wants to have an opportunity to attend training that will help him in his field, but he’s not sure you will pay for it. What happens when a recruiter calls the young lady and happens to hit her pain point by promising to sit down and negotiate the desired career path and steps to support it? What happens when you have a recruiter call the young man and guarantee that he is going to get a set training budget to use every year for conferences like the one he wants to attend. They are going to add some cash to their current salaries, but they are fixing current pain points for your young professionals. This can be true of anyone at your company, not just the young folks.


Is it because you aren’t giving any constructive criticism or because Millennials are terrible people? 

Those millennials aren’t taking those phone calls because they are ungrateful, they are taking those phone calls because you’ve ignored their requests to solve these issues internally. Money won’t guarantee a young professional will stay at your organization anymore than any other one thing will. I’m sorry there isn’t a one size fits all answer like you may have been led to believe. Get to know your workforce, not pamper them. Find out what they need, find out what motivates them, listen, give them honest feedback. Don’t treat them any different than you treat the other generations. At the end of the day every generation needs to get their work done-no excuses! Are you treating your millennials different than your other generations?

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Conversations about Millennials are around every corner, even after all these years that we’ve been in the workforce. Want to continue the conversation? Check out a couple of upcoming events in the Huntsville area: 

Rocket City YP Summit

Night of the Living Millennials 


People quit problems

I quit

I heard a long time ago that people don’t quit jobs, they quit people, they quit their managers. For some reason way back when I heard this I thought it was genius! Maybe I thought it was true because I was in a place where I wanted to quit and I wanted to blame someone else (I didn’t quit at the time by the way). It made sense back then, mostly because one of my managers was driving me insane. Calls and texts and emails at all hours, always demanding things, unrealistic expectations, etc. It was a real nightmare, but I learned to deal with it. Recently I’ve seen several posts pop-up about people quitting people again and I thought if I were to quit my job tomorrow, it wouldn’t be because of my manager so maybe there isn’t a lot of truth in the “people quit people” statement? What do you think about the understanding that people quit problems instead? A problem could be anything, you aren’t working your dream job, your pay isn’t what you would like, your family is relocating, the company changed its direction and it’s not a direction you support, you don’t like your co-workers, you don’t like the company processes (that no one else seems to be bothered by). A problem really could be anything and sometimes the solution is quitting and going somewhere else.

I wonder too though, when you are driven to quit, is it really your supervisors fault that you quit? How much did you share with that supervisor and how much did you expect them to figure out on their own? What did you contribute to the problem you thought your manager was not taking care of? Is your quitting just you pitching a fit or is it legit not a fit anymore?

Not a super thought-provoking post, just wondering out loud why we buy into hype (and buzz words) sometimes.

Boats & Rows

I had an opportunity this past weekend to participate in the Decatur Morgan Hospital Foundation Dragon Boat Race and Festival…. and y’all, I had a TON OF FUN!! What’s a Dragon Boat Race you might ask? My one word answer is AWESOME! You basically load up in this 46 foot boat with a nice little dragon head and tail on it and you row your heart out for around a minute! You have a drummer at the front and someone steering at the back. There’s this company that you can get to come to your city and help you put on a Dragon Boat Race and it’s a fantastic idea for a fundraiser (especially for a big project). This is the third year that Decatur has had a Dragon Boat Race and it gets bigger every year. This year there were a total of 69 teams! How did I get the chance to participate? Basically, my former co-workers miss me and they still invite me to things like this 🙂 (of course current employees get priority so if there was a current employee that wanted to participate in my place I would be out of luck). The other reason is because I have a big mouth and I’m very loud! See, each team has a drummer. The drummer is responsible for helping keep cadence and giving commands to the rowers from the person steering at the back of the boat and the team captain thought my loud mouth was perfect for that job. Sounds simple enough.

"We Be Strokin"

“We Be Strokin”


All good teams need practice so we scheduled our practice for Thursday (race was Saturday) and it’s a hot mess. I show up late (sorry guys-I drove the furthest to get there) and the instructor isn’t happy with me. This makes him completely ignore me the whole time we have practice and that makes me less than a happy camper. Let me tell you, sitting my wide ass at the front of the boat on that tiny seat where the drummer is supposed to sit was a little scary! I’m pretty sure I was hanging on for dear life the whole time I was up there, but our instructor gives the commands the whole time so I don’t even get to practice that with the group. After an hour everyone at least has an idea of what we need to do, but our instructor has no problem telling us we aren’t up to race speed. Now here I am thinking this is a charity event and we are here to have fun and this little mean guy is trying to rain on our parade. We wrap up practice and everyone heads their separate ways. We don’t even all know each other at this point, but its late and we all have other things to do. All I could think on my way home is “I weigh far too much to be sitting at the front of our boat.” So, maybe not the best practice ever, but hey at least we got in the boat together once, right?

boats and rows

Race day gets here and it’s like we have a whole new team. Several people show up that were not at practice (turns out you can practice with any team so these guys had been practicing with other teams). And some people were last-minute fill ins (my poor husband, he loves it when I drag him to an event and then need him to participate at the last-minute. He’s such a good sport!) for no shows or late comers. Oh and did I mention that I talked a smaller girl into being the drummer so now I’m rowing? You know, that other thing that I didn’t practice. All this to say we thought we had a plan, but now we had new people and no time to fill them in. Then we load the boat and the back of the boat starts to sink, I mean we were like the bad news bears out there! We get off the boat and re-load the way the person steering wants, only he puts too much weight on one side of the boat and the boat is tilted the whole time we are on the water! We paddle like crap. We clank and hit each other, water is going everywhere and we come in 5th place in our heat. While we all pretended this was okay because it’s for charity we couldn’t fight the urge to get off to a corner and get to work on a strategy for the next race. This event is in all day event so we had different people coming at different times since everyone couldn’t stay all day and this made coming up with a strategy a tad more difficult. We get off to the side we decide to line up, write down everyone’s weight, evenly distribute that weight across the boat, yell together when we row and just have a good time.  We remind everyone that it’s not about moving fast it’s about moving together and we try again! The fun thing was once we had a goal and everyone was on the same page everyone, and I do mean EVERYONE had great input. It was like magic. We had a common goal and we started cooperating with each other, what a crazy thought right?  Second race comes around and we place second. Man, are we fired up! We remind everyone what our goal is again and evaluate the last run on the boat to identify improvement. Third and final race comes around… first place baby! This somehow or another leads us to win in our division (there were so many teams that they divided us up into divisions and gave out awards to the winner in each division plus a championship for overall winner. We didn’t make the cut for the championship).

From last place to Division E winners!

From last place to Division E winners!

It was very cool that not only did we see immediate results by giving each team member some value and using their ideas, we had a freaking blast!! It had me thinking though, how often do we get frustrated at work because we don’t get to the end goal as fast as we want? Is it because we aren’t communicating the end goal and making sure everyone understands? Is it because we forget to give the team some buy-in so they don’t care about the end result? Is it because we aren’t constantly communicating our goal? Maybe it’s because we changed our strategy and forgot to tell the whole team? How much does a lack of cooperation have to do with failing? We can have a team without cooperation, but does cooperation make a team? What are your thoughts?

I take my phone to meetings..

So what, I take my phone to meetings, big deal. It’s not because I’m a gen Yer, its not because I’m playing tetris or crushing candy. It’s not because I’m taking selfies or tweeting about how boring the meeting is. I keep my phone with me because it’s a valuable resource. I’m using my phone in a meeting to take notes, take pictures of slides for reference later, researching things relevant to what we are talking about etc. I’m using my cell phone powers for good.

My boss hates that I’m always walking around phone-in-hand. He cannot stand it, he will stop me and make sure I’m paying attentionconnected to what he’s saying. I don’t think he’s surprised anymore when he stops me to make sure I’m paying attention and I actually am paying attention. (I think that because one day his boss was in his office talking to us and made a comment about how I was clicking away pretty fast on my phone and he said, to my surprise, “yeah, but in a minute she will look up and repeat everything we just said and then tell us what she thinks”). It also annoys Bobbi. While we were chatting Wednesday night at Chick-fil-a (which by the way I do not love their food) I was googling, reading and tweeting throughout our conversation and it was driving her nuts.

I get it. It looks rude. It looks like you’re not paying attention, but that’s because of all those people out their using their cell phone powers for bubble popping, tetris and candy crushing. Maybe someone being on their cell phone is the exact opposite-maybe it means they ARE paying attention. The funny thing is I’m actually putting pencil to paper right now and not paying attention to what is going on around me. I’m not making a single note about the presentation or anyone’s comments, I am making notes for this post, making my to-do list and planning a few workouts. No one has even raised an eyebrow at me. It looks like I’m just taking notes… whatever.

taking notes

I was sitting in a meeting a week ago at a local college with the new board of trustees and one of the guys in the meeting said he actually does not allow cell phones in his meetings. He doesn’t want to hear a phone vibrate or see someone texting. Oy vey. Today in technical writing we were talking about measuring the effectiveness of your presentation and someone joked that you can tell you aren’t doing a good job when the audience is on their blackberries (people are using blackberries still?).

If you don’t want people texting during a meeting then say so. If you don’t want #sleepingselfies showing up on instagram with a tagline about the meeting boring them to sleep, then say so. Don’t assume I’m not paying attention. I’m researching. I’m taking notes (and by the way I do take notes using twitter sometimes so yes I’m tweeting occasionally). If you start talking about something I am not familiar with, I’m going to give it a google so I can get up to speed. If you have a question about a resource we should be considering for something, I’ll look it up right then. If you schedule a follow-up meeting, I’m putting it on my calendar right then. I’m not texting. I can use my phone for more things than texting. It would be irresponsible of me to not utilize my mobile device to its fullest capabilities. Just think about it next time you want to throw an employee out of the room for being on their phone, if I’m not on my phone, I’m probably not paying attention. Don’t be so old school.


If I get hit by a bus…

I’m such a big fan of the “hit by a bus instructions” that I drive most people crazy about it. When I learn something new or add a new task to my normal routine I document it. And then I document it again. For real y’all, if I get hit by a bus tonight I want my team to be able to easily access what I have been working on, what my pending deadlines are and what work requires an immediate pick up and run. Too often we think that people will only be out of work for a day or two at a time, but let’s face it these instructions are for multiple circumstances. 1) the obvious-if I get hit by a bus. 2) if I get mad as all get out (after my screw you fund is built up of course) and walk out, never to be seen or heard from again. 3) if you get all mad at me and walk me out, never to be seen or heard from again.

As HR professionals we have all seen a situation where we “suddenly” had a problem employee we had to get rid of and start devising a plan of how to divide up the work tasks this person was responsible for. Wait, you do know what work tasks that person was responsible for, right? Oh, well there is another problem. How do you know what they are doing? Oh okay-you can just go around to their co-workers and gather information and piece their normal job functions together. Cool. Good luck with that.

Sometimes we don’t want to ask employees to keep a “living” training manual of what they do. It may take too much time, they are busy enough after all. The employee may start thinking we are going to fire them or replace them. Or you think they probably won’t do it anyway. Well, my dear HR pro, that is because you are not selling it right. I am often baffled at the lack of salesmanship from HR pros and must say I deeply value my selling capabilities. When our job is to manage our human resources we have to get creative, we have to find a way to get our humans to receive our message! Example: Is your work environment team oriented? Then you could sell it as a way to relieve pressure from the team if something happens and they have to step in and help with your job functions at the last-minute (hello, what if you get hit by a bus). Are your employees focused on climbing the ladder? Well then their transition up will be easier when they have the opportunity if they can train their successor quickly and give them a go to guide for the day-to-day things.

Still not enough for you to think about these handy-dandy manuals? How about this “hit by a bus instructions” should include a point of contact sheet. This sheet should list everyone and everything this employee is a POC for and what all contact information is used for this POC. Why? Because almost a year ago I switched jobs for the first time in 7 years. In those 7 years I accrued a lot of different responsibilities and became the POC for a lot of different employees, vendors, customers, etc. I still (with the most recent being yesterday morning) get phone calls on my cell phone from different people who the company failed to follow-up with and change the POC info. The most recent call was from the security service because the burglar alarm was set off. The call before that (two weeks prior) was about an employee working on third shift who got injured on the job. When I say third shift I mean my phone rang at 1:13 in the morning for an issue I didn’t need to know about. This list goes on and on and on. Had they taken the time to go through the instructions I had in reference to my job and the point of contact info they would’ve been able to take care of notifying everyone promptly. Or I could just change my cell phone number right? Don’t worry, I will soon. Seriously though, in the case of the burglar alarm what if it was a crisis that needed to be handled immediately? That isn’t the time to scramble around for the password for the security customer service rep to verify you are legit while you frantically tell the tale of the employee that is no more.

Employees, keep track of what you do. Keep track of who you are the contact for. Keep track of all the contact information you have for all of your point of contacts relevant to your projects. Don’t leave your team high and dry for any reason whether its you really get hit by a bus or you get ticked and walk out.

Employers, know what your employees are doing. You can do that without micro managing, I promise. Assign a back up point of contact for all projects, just in case. Don’t nag employees, but do follow-up and see if they are indeed keeping a good operating manual for you or someone else to take over in case something goes bad.

Managers, don’t spring a last-minute problem employee on us. Bring your issues to HR and lets talk about how to deal with it. I promise we won’t immediately say fire this person (that is why you don’t tell us right away isn’t it?). We will work with you, but if the employee doesn’t get better it’s a lot easier to get them out the door if we have followed procedure. We didn’t make this stuff up, its to protect you and the company so cooperate with us.

work instructions

Exit Interviews-a little too late?

In HR we know every time someone is walking out the door we are going to politely ask them a set of questions determined by someone else doing a different job probably somewhere else that has been determined as information we need to know, or an Exit Interview. We value your feedback and would like to know where we can improve.
If we valued it why do we wait until an exit to get it? We don’t want to wait until the good employee is gone to find out what we could do differently we want to know while they are still with us how we can improve! Why do we not value what they have to say while they are still working, but put so much emphasis on their opinion once they are gone… HELLO? 9 times out of 10 that employee had a complaint somewhere that was not taken seriously by management. Hey, I’ve been there. I lost one of my best employees because I chose to not let her problem be my problem. I decided her problem wasn’t my problem and my boss decided that my employees problem wasn’t her problem either. I knew the second she put her resignation in why she was doing it and immediately started kicking myself. Long story short in her case I knew that she was a good worker and that she was committed to our customers and employees so if she could just tough it out a little longer maybe her concerns would just go away or maybe her desire to take care of our clients would outweigh the importance of her concerns that we were choosing to ignore. I can look back and evaluate that situation so easily now and I keep coming back to the same question… Why when she was resigning were we all the sudden willing to “get rid of her problem” when we weren’t months before when she had pointed the “problem” out? We didnt value all employee feedback and that was/is wrong.
Here is another scenario. Recently chatting with a friend elsewhere she was telling me about a situation she is having at work and this pretty much sums it up:
Management: from now on we will ONLY do B…don’t ever do A again.
Friend: does B
Management: I’m unsure as to why you aren’t doing A, I really can’t trust your work if you didn’t know you should be doing A.
Friend : extreme confusion
[and scene] So the HR in me is throwing questions her way: “Well what did she say when you this?” or “Did you try this” as well as “okay, tell me what your responsibilities were” and “what are your bosses expectations” and so on and so on, the conclusion is her manager has the same problem a lot of managers have, they aren’t good at it. Sort of like Ben’s breakdown of the technical employee made manager (you can read about that here: And if you snoop around in the comments you will find that was my problem as well. I was awesome at the job functions, but that didn’t mean I was going to make an awesome manager. The best advice that the man I worked for would’ve ever given me was this sentence right here “Treat your employees like a customer” WHAT!!? That changed my life! What a concept! So I told my friend that while we were discussing her “bitchy boss” and she quickly confirmed that’s the major problem! Her manager is fantastic with clients, but not fantastic with her own employees and my dear friend is going to make sure she lets HR know when they conduct her exit interview what the problem is! But why? Why does it have to be in the exit interview? Why do employees feel like that is when they can be honest about working conditions? Or are they being honest before then and we aren’t taking them seriously? What can we do in our own organizations to truly invite employees in and evaluate issues with those employees so they can see they are being heard and that we are moving towards improvement in the workplace?


Side Note/Real Life Management growth-I let that sink in for a  while when the owner told me to treat my employees like a customer and the more I thought about it the more it made sense. My client service is amazing and everyone within a 50 mile radius knows that so why don’t I put that to use internally? I mean, sometimes clients ask for crazy things, or make you mad, or need a lot of attention and what-not and you grin and get through it so you should be able to do the same with your own staff…

True Life: The Generation Gap in action…

You think you know, but you have no idea! We as HR constantly attend programs related to connecting the dots between the generations in the workforce, but behind closed doors what is it like an HR Dept that has employees from all generations?

  • 1st hand experience to the different generations-I work for baby boomers, I was raised (or raised them, I don’t know for sure) by Gen X parents, I’m Gen Y and my siblings are Gen Z (in some definitions they fall under Gen Z and in some definitions they squeak into Gen Y<– because I believe they are wildly different from me I’m going to call them Gen Z).
  • What are some characteristics we associate with each generation (from face value):

-Baby Boomers are hard workers. They believe in going to work, getting the job done and loyalty. They still approach problem solving with an “old-school” state of mind. Employment IS for life.

-Gen X are the beginning of the latchkey kid phenomena. They are well-educated and only loyal until they are unhappy. They will not stick around if they aren’t happy.

-Gen Y… We are rebellious (really we are just strongly opinionated and embrace the opportunity to voice it) We are lazy (really we just believe in working smarter not harder) We think we know it all (really we know we have the tools to know it all, we don’t have to remember it all- we have google for that).

-Gen Z spolied and misinformed.  Harsh I know, but my summary of Gen Z: They are sheltered from the realities of life. Everyone gets a “participation trophy”, tolerance means comprimising values (which I’m quite certain will eventually diminish the desire to have values) and parents can’t spank their children anymore. (Spare the rod, spoil the child?)Now don’t get me wrong each generation definitely has its positives, only time will tell for Gen Z, but I’m certain they will surface!

Obviously I defended Gen Y a bit more than the others because that’s what I’m classified as. These are blanket statements that are not true for each individual under each generation, but as a whole this is how the public summarizes them. I constantly encounter someone older than me that summarizes my generation as “lazy”. This happens because our approach to work usually has a way to cut out a couple of “unneccessary” steps. Because we don’t do things the way the baby boomers or generation x does them we are automatically labeled as lazy and know it all. Here’s some lessons learned: I’ve always been excited about the work I do since the day they hired me. During my “learning curve” I observed all that I could and took pages and pages and pages and pages and then some more pages of notes. I wrote down everything they taught me, everything I learned on my own, everything I learned from customers, applicants, employees, etc. As an “outsider” looking into the process it was easy for me to identify some steps that could easily be improved to save a ton of time and money. However, the majority of these suggestions/ideas were met with resistance. This baffled me! My thought process was all over the place trying to interpret resistance to easy changes and I couldn’t come up with a good answer. Then one day at a NASHRM luncheon the speaker was talking about the way the different generations interact and everything fell in place! The point that stuck with me (and quite frankly I don’t remember anything else from his presentation) was to show the older workforce that I wasn’t trying to take their job away from them, but trying to make it easier! So it wasn’t my ideas that were the problem it was the delivery of those ideas! I occasionally run into resistance with new ideas now, but usually if I remember to deliver the idea in its true purpose (to improve what we do and make our jobs a little easier) then I at least get my ideas heard and discussed. And its true that sometimes once those ideas reach discussion I realize that maybe that isn’t the best thing since sliced bread after all!

What else is different? The way we look for work. This is huge for us and what we do. It only makes sense for us to have someone on staff from each generation so that they can appeal to their generation in the advertising, recruiting and treatment of their generation. We know that all generations are in the workforce now and there are people from all of the generations LOOKING for work now; it would be insane for us to not acknowledge that and cater to that. While I may recruit through Facebook and LinkedIn my boss is more likely to recruit by other, more traditional ways.

The point is there are GOOD and BAD things that come from the generation gap in the HR department. It can help us solve problems and think in different perspectives  or it can cause us to be catty towards each other and counterproductive. The important thing is to perfect your delivery and keep in consideration that while we constantly (as the younger generation) pick at what the older generations do wrong (and probably vice-versa) we could focus on what they do right and build from there.

Attitudes in the workplace

I couldn’t be happier that football season is in full swing: College, NFL & Fantasy… my life is once again complete. One player really shocked me today (& I’m not talking about RGIII)… Chris Johnson! I was the big voice previously screaming GIVE THAT MAN THE DAMN MONEY & now I’m scratching my head as I watch his performance on the field. For those of you that don’t know he had 11 carries today for 4 yards. One. Two. Three. Four. Granted their offensive line is terrible right now, BUT we are talking about a running back that has previously run for 2000 yards in a single season. If he continues like this that won’t happen again. So what’s the problem CJ (past the O line)… attitude?

Here’s a quick breakdown: Once upon a time his contract was set for a measly $1.065 million, until he decided he was worth more than that [& when he decided he was worth more than that he refused to show up or participate until everyone agreed with him]. I happen to believe that you should pay top performers accordingly (which is why I was screaming for his new contract that ended up a fat $53.5 million), but since then his performance has been on a steady decline. Maybe the way his contract was negotiated caused this? Maybe its just sheer luck or lack of give a …. ? Maybe his ego is out of control and he has lost touch with reality?

How can we prevent a top performer from discontinuing his/her best efforts once they have been rewarded the monies or other perqs they are demanding? Here are some ideas: 1stbe realistic. Yes CJ2K you have the most rushing yards in a season with our franchise; yes you have the longest rushing attempt with our franchise; yes you have the most total scrimmage yards in one season… These are all wonderful accomplishments, but lets break this raise down in a simpler process- you get x amount now and if you repeat all of these feats you get xx amount…(performance review anyone?). Which brings me to point 2-set new goals for your performer! If they feel like they’ve accomplished everything they have come to your organization to accomplish, well, they are done “Thanks for the payday-I’m just going to hang out now and remind you all [verbally] everyday of how AWESOME I once was”. Make sure your workforce still has something to work for and make sure they still want to work for that. 3-cut your losses. Running back formerly known as “CJ2K” played his worst season last year & isn’t starting off well this year. Decide when enough is enough and cut the deadweight from your team before it starts to weigh everyone else down. When a team players attitude sets him above the rest of your team chances are your other players notice and they don’t like it. If you can’t coach that attitude back into the right place the damage to team morale will outweigh the benefits of his ability to perform top numbers.