Don’t reward mediocrity. You’d think that would be a no-brainer. But, think again. Many larger companies and, especially, government, non-profits and public service organizations have unwritten policies protecting managers and employees who can’t be trusted to handle important, necessary tasks. Small companies usually do a better job of avoiding this trap because they simply can’t afford to keep deadwood around.
To read the rest of this article from the East Bay Business Journal, see: Get rid of the employee you can’t count on http://www.bizjournals.com/eastbay/stories/2007/08/20/smallb5.html
- To deliver poor performance and low productivity – the mediocre, lazy slackers and bottom feeders. For example, when critical projects are due, they often take unscheduled leave or won’t come early or stay a minute extra. They produce sloppy, half-finished work. They assume other people will be responsible for cleaning up their messes. They do just enough that they’re not fired. But they’re incompetent enough that you can’t give them projects that matter or are hard. You’ll look bad when they fail.
- To have poor attitudes and mediocre behavior, at best. They whine, complain, gossip, have low morale, create emotional drama, pursue personal agendas and fight over turf. They’re negative, cranky, narcissistic, sneaky, manipulative, abusive control-freaks, meeting saboteurs and energy vampires. You’ve tried everything you can think of to please them – begging, bribery, appeasement, forgiveness, mediation – but nothing has motivated them.
Instead, reward and keep the solid workers as well as the shooting stars. They work extra, partner to meet difficult deadlines and push to get things right. Their personal and family time suffers because they’re dedicated but overloaded. You’ll give them the tough projects with tight deadlines because you know they’ll do whatever it takes to succeed. Everyone on their team and in other departments the team interacts with knows who can be counted on when the going gets tough.
In order to develop a company culture that can succeed, people who can’t be counted on can’t stay. Be honest with yourself, and evaluate honestly and explicitly. Be resolute. Stop bullies; stop their bullying you.
As a manager, you must respond to the early warning signs that you don’t trust people and can’t give them assignments that count. Find another place for them.
As a co-worker carrying someone else’s burden, make waves and polish your resume. Don’t stay in a culture that rewards mediocrity and toxic behavior just the same as superior performance. Barely good enough isn’t good enough for long-term company success and job security.
As a director or owner, don’t accept people who barely skate by. Remove managers who are political animals and wimps, who’ll become just-good-enough, long-term managers and who’ll perpetuate a culture of mediocrity until the organization slowly sinks.