When I supervised surgical nursing staff, sometimes the highest performers noticed that their hard work and amazing attitudes were often rewarded with increasingly difficult assignments.

It’s enough to make one adopt the cynical adage: “No good deed goes unpunished.”

Two lessons here: First, for the management: We need to not be lazy–It’s not cool to consistently send the hardest work to the folks with the best attitudes simply because we’re weary of hearing complaints from people who are just as competent, but who tend to whine and complain. Take care of your people. Burnout and turnover of your best staff only makes everyone’s job harder–especially your own.

Second, for the high performers: Yes, you will continue to get harder work–we’re also going to remember that when it comes to your performance evaluation, your raise, and your promotion. Supervisors didn’t get to become supervisors by only doing the easy stuff. If you believe the institution is failing you, let them know. If they won’t listen, move on.

But if you ask the veterans about your situation, and they tell you that you’re simply experiencing growing pains–hang in there, you’re on your way to mastery.