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“The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits” – Albert Einstein

Women face a multiplicity of challenges at work, including Gender discrimination, Targets of glass ceiling, striving for work-life balance, etc. to name a few. The concept of Performance Punishment adds more woe. In an endeavour to prove our mettle, it’s quite common to go the extra mile, work tirelessly and succeed in a professional project or venture with much effort. But what to do, when such strenuous endeavours lead to a vicious cycle? What is Performance Punishment, how to identify this at the bud and avoid the anguish?

The term signifies the situation wherein an employee handles an exceptionally challenging or difficult task by extreme hard work and succeeds in the same. Along with a pat on the back, the person is assigned equal or more difficult projects to handle. In an effort to maintain the laurels earned, the employee ends up overstraining which results in a burn out.

Also, there are situations wherein a diligent person is deemed too significant for the role performed that he/she is denied a promotion, citing lack of credible resources to fill the position (known as Talent hoarding).

By whatever name it’s called, such practices end up frustrating the employee, who in turn loses the morale to work. The key is to identify and curb them at the earliest. Few pointers when caught in such tight-corners:

  • Scrutinise the assignment, check if its viable :

Before you accept any over-the-top assignments, take time to evaluate if you have the required resources. Check with your team if they are a part of the project. Don’t shy away from asking for help, like additional head count or time extension right at the beginning. If you feel in any way it’s an insurmountable task, have the openness to decline it along with your reasons.

  • Communication is key:

Inform your manager of any possible hurdles you might encounter, ensure you are on the same page. Once commenced, have regular meetings to evaluate the progress and to seek any support if needed. Ensure to include all the stakeholders involved.

Receiving unfavourable feedbacks and rectifications at the fag end will jeopardize the time and efforts invested.

  • Empower others:

One of the easiest ways to prevent being a target of Talent hoarding is to groom someone of your calibre. Rather than waiting for a need to arise, identify and train people when you have the time. Many lose out on vacations or time off owing to the fact that they are irreplaceable. Sometimes, being indispensable could prove to be a double edged sword.

While rewards in work are certainly a boost for the morale, it’s vital to know the ones that will be detrimental in the long run.  There’s little merit in losing morale over gruelling tasks that will upset your professional path. Taking time to think clearly and deciding based on practicality will give an edge when set with challenging choices.

You may also want to read other articles written by the  author: ‘Stop limiting yourself‘, ‘Doing what you love – hobbies and passion to opportunity‘, ‘ Maximise your productivity to unleash your potential‘, ‘Be your own boss‘, ‘Broaden your intellectual horizon‘, ‘Career metamorphosis – Expert to beginner’, ‘Importance of networking for success in your career’, ‘Busy Day vs Productive Day‘, ‘Money matters for womens financial independence‘, ‘ ‘Being overlooked for promotion‘ , ‘Addressing the gender paygap disparity ‘ , ‘ The art of saying No at work‘  , ‘ Reviving from an unfavourable performance appraisal ‘ , ‘Dealing with a difficult boss

About the author:

Nithya Jagadish –

I am a commerce graduate with an overall experience of 10 years in the Corporate Industry and handled diversified assignments at HSBC and Hewlett Packard. After gaining considerable knowledge and success during my tenure, I decided to focus my attention on other areas of interest. Now, a doting mother of a one year old, I spend my day reading, apprising on my topics of interest and baby-sitting.

An avid reader and poetry enthusiast, my love for writing started while at school and my dreams have borne fruits after motherhood. I strongly believe in living life to the fullest and making the most of each beautiful day.

(The author is a guest blogger at Her Second Innings. The opinions expressed are those of the author.)

You can reach our guest bloggers by mailing us at support@hersecondinnings.com.

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