Relive the Glory Days


September 22, 2010

Disclaimer:  I am a proud football mom.  I know some people without kids will roll their eyes at that because ten years ago, I would have done the same to all the minivan-driving soccer moms.  That said, I think there are so many things that can be learned by watching little ones play sports.

I just received a DVD of my son’s last football game.  These 5- 6 year olds played with such heart!  When it got to the part of the video where my son broke free and made an 80 yard run….I was teary eyed.  Not because he made a good play.  Not even because it was so good that the ref actually high-fived him, although that was cool.  It was because someone took time to film this for us so we can relive the great moments with him.

In the workplace, whether you’re a leader in the organization or you’re in human resources, we try to encourage managers to complete performance evals on their staff. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tried to tout the developmental opportunities we open up by using performance feedback, and that is still true.  However, watching the football video this morning, something hit me like a ton of bricks.

The most important part of the performance evaluation is giving that employee the ability to relive the glory of their accomplishments.

Let that sit there for a moment.

I am going to make a mental note to approach performance evaluations from this angle from now on.  Sure, I’ll still tell managers all the great reasons that by documenting it can help them improve performance, but the MAIN thing is to really celebrate achievements.

Agree?  Disagree?  Let me know in the comments.


  • Trish,

    Celebrating achievements will often mean celebrating an individual’s true strengths. While many evaluations focus on weaknesses and deficiencies, leveraging an individual’s strengths would arguably the best for the individual and the business. Using your football story, it’s not likely that a center can play quarterback. BTW, as a football mom, you might enjoy Kenny Chesney’s video for “Boys of Fall”

  • High 5 from a ref? Never got that playing soccer back when I was younger although that would of been pretty cool. How do you plan on celebrating those achievements in the workplace?

  • Great post, Trish. Couldn’t agree more that the main thing is to celebrate achievements. But I’m sure you agree we can’t and shouldn’t wait until an annual review to do the celebrating. By that time, the event being celebrated is so far removed from the praise, it does little to encourage the employee. Rather, effective praise happens soon after the event deserving of praise.

    If anyone’s interested in the research to back up Trish’s very important point, Gallup found late last year:

    • Managers who focus on employee strengths have 61% engaged employees and 1% actively disengaged

    • Managers who focus on employee weaknesses have 45% engaged employees and 22% actively disengaged

    • Managers who ignore their employees have 2% engaged employees and 40% actively disengaged

    (research cited here: )

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About Trish

A former HR executive and HCM product leader with over 20 years of experience.


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