Fear of supervisor stealing credit

This is a big one, the fear that "my supervisor will steal the credit for my good work". Not acknowledging this fear at your workplace can hinder is overall Organization performance.

Absence of this fear is what makes Startups such an awesome work place. Since most of the time leadership team is an arm away, your work is highly visible on most occasions. Start adding hierarchy and you'll experience a sudden drop in the flow of awesomeness. Different ventures experience this effect differently but all do. That's why you see most founder running to Culture consultants after a certain manpower size, they'd have experienced this "Credit cliff" (did we just coin a name for the problem?)

More the layers in Organization hierarchy, steeper the Credit cliff. So how does Credit cliff effect:

1. Performers at last mile withdraw. Hardest effected are the front line performers, the stars in 1 layer era. If they haven't moved to higher layer, they'll begin going into the shell, from which only recruitment firms will bring them out.

2. In absence of active participation from these "now disengaged" stars, you end up almost re-creating the whole Organization from scratch, just that first time, you didn't have team in shell, now you do.

3. "Team in shell" is a team from hell. You don't need a competitor anymore, your disengaged team members will do to you what competitors can't. They'll meet & greet new talent that you onboard, they'll make leaders work harder than anytime before, they'll crib on daily basis and they'll make you feel guilty of being unfair all the time. 

Can something be done about it?

Let's try:

1. Have an Organization design with roles defined. Share it with team early on, so they know that as you grow people will come into other roles, some of them senior in hierarchy.

2. Acknowledge the significance of dealing with Credit cliff as you add layers. Talk about it with seniors and make sure that they are addressing this concern in behavior. This would take more than you think, so get deep into this. Remember, its not just a perceived problem, some managers do snatch the credit, watch out for them.

3. Make effort to grow your team, the performers, even if there is a bit of risk involved. Continuous skill up gradation is a good way to prepare performers for larger roles. In whatever small way, begin learning tracks very early in your venture. 

4. Increase open format meetings, bootcamps, socials as you add layers and encourage free flow conversations. 

5. Rather than asking people to make presentations and relying on slide work, encourage real time problem solving conversations, then ask for summaries and action plan. Most back end slide work suffers from Credit cliff syndrome. 

Share your experience.

plugHR early team @Kihim

plugHR early team @Kihim