We’ve all been passed over for a promotion at one time or another in our careers.
It’s frustrating, and it hurts.
So when we see it happen to someone else, it’s easy to empathise with.
But what happens when that person is still in our project team? How do we re-energise a skeptical individual? And what do we do if we can’t?
This gives us the picture below.
Notice that Hope increases before Energy does.
That’s because when it comes to building morale and momentum, Hope is your limiting force.
You can only run as fast as the level of ‘give a damn’ that your people have.
So where does the begrudged SME sit?
Well workplace optimism is fundamentally built on two key pillars:
- An optimism in the meaningfulness of their work, and
- An optimism in their ability to meaningfully contribute their skills to that work.
If you’ve been passed over for promotion, many times it places cynicism and resent in the way of that optimism. It’s easy to stop caring about your work if you feel that your contributions aren’t appreciated.
So that puts a temporary hard limit on this begrudging SME’s level of Hope, and correspondingly their morale and momentum level. This puts them somewhere around here:
They’re either examining their options and looking to move on (i.e., despair), or they’re frustrated and fearful of contributing more work and effort only to get little to no appreciation again.
If you want to keep them (the harder thing), then your focus needs to be on helping them create new hope in their future as part of your project and/or team. This often means making a hard change – repositioning them into a new advisory or expertise role can often be fruitful here.
They need an excuse to feel hopeful and appreciated again.
If you’re happy to lose them (the easier thing), and you only need their subject matter expertise, then your focus shifts to knowledge transfer and new opportunity discovery. Help them move on fruitfully, perhaps to an internal secondment. And while you’re doing so – have them document and record their pertinent information for your team and project’s future use.
Whichever your decision, it pays to be proactive here. Letting this fester will result in you losing both them and their knowledge – often putting your project at risk while it scrambles to fill the gaps.
I’m starting up a new series where I address your questions & challenges through video mini-masterclasses.
So, here’s the offer – normally I charge healthy fees for direct advice on personal change leadership challenges. But for this mini-masterclass series, it’ll only cost you the time to write the email to me. (Plus all questions/answers will be anonymised).
If you’re interested in having a new perspective brought to your current challenge – just hit reply and tell me a little about it.
A selection of which will be included in the new series.
See you all next week.