Employees come in three flavors
By spending more time with your Critical People, you will increase productivity, manage your time effectively and have more engaged staff and increase retention rates.
The Squeaky Wheels
At the other end of the spectrum you have your Squeaky Wheels. It’s often said that “the squeaky wheel gets the grease,” and perhaps that’s a good thing in a mechanic’s workshop. In a business environment however, it’s a recipe for poor management, high staff turnover and low productivity.
There are a couple of types of Squeaky Wheels: the high-performers who are also high-maintenance, and those who squeak because they present either a performance or a behavior issue. Spending an over-abundance of time with these employees will become problematic, and again, sends the wrong message to staff.
So what about your Squeaky Wheels? Should you just ignore them? Possibly—but in a business setting, a more proactive approach can be beneficial to the collective team. There are three scenarios you can utilize:
- Hold a formal conversation to set more clear objectives or key performance indicators, and give them the necessary training required to accomplish them and hold them accountable for doing so.
- Determine their internal motivators, or Currencies of Choice, and use those to inspire them to a higher level of performance or better behavior.
- Move them on. Let them squeak on someone else’s bus.
The Fat Middle
This “flavor” is comprised of the remaining 60-70% of your workforce. Miraculously, when you devote the majority of time to your Critical People and avoid the urge to grease the Squeaky Wheels, the Fat Middle takes care of itself. The good ones desire to feel the inclusion and attention they see managers giving to the Critical People. They tend to become more engaged and to develop more quickly, especially if the manager empowers the Critical People to help train, mentor and motivate the Fat Middle.
Within six to eight months of managing his team by their individual “flavor,” Mike was back working a reasonable work week and spending his time working with the CEO on strategy—exactly what he was hired to do. As an added benefit, employee retention went up as a result of the staff being deployed properly, working together much more effectively and enjoying their own jobs to a much greater extent. By identifying and classifying the types of his employees, he righted the overall course of the company.
And you can do the same with yours.
Kim Seeling Smith is an international human resources expert and author of the forthcoming book, "Mind Reading for Managers: 5 FOCUSed Conversations for Greater Employee Engagement and Productivity." With her expansive knowledge of human capital practices in today’s market, Smith helps companies build healthy work environments and increase employee engagement and productivity in our digitally connected, globally oriented world. For more information, visit http://igniteglobal.com.
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