About six months ago, I coaxed a top performer into a stretch assignment – basically taking on the responsibilities for two people who left earlier in the year. He agreed to it on a few conditions – a company issued iPhone, a mid-cycle salary increase, some additional vacation days and a promotion to the level the two former employees were at (one grade level).
I agreed to it, knowing full well that I was not going to honor the last three items. Yes, he’s doing incredible work (far more achievements in a few months than the other two did in two years), but he’s in his late 20s, and needs to learn that promotions take time. I gave him the same merit increases I give the rest of the team, and it wouldn’t be fair to them to give him a mid-cycle increase.
On the promotion, I never bothered to submit the paperwork because promoting him to the top of the IC structure before he’s 30 will create problems, and now there’s a hiring/promotional freeze. This individual learned another peer in another group is being promoted to that level he wanted before the freeze was put in place, and he was dismayed to learn his promotion didn’t go through. The last two weeks, he’s been very quiet – still putting out good work, but not offering up ideas and strategies like I expect. Yesterday, he made a blatant effort to show he executed more cost savings projects this year than six co-workers combined.
Should I confront him for his attitude? I don’t want it spilling over to the rest of his co-workers.