I read a fascinating article on the Ladders $100K+ Club website, which states that the employees you should worry about losing are the average ones – the large group of ‘middle’ employees, or Average Achievers. Most work groups consist of a handful of high performers, many average employees, and a handful of under achievers. Most supervisors spend their time focusing on their top and low performers, which the article points out, is a mistake.
Why? Because your top performers are already self-motivated and your low performers may not improve even with lots of time, attention, and training. In essence, low performers can be a black hole for investing organizational resources, as they will probably not be around long (unless they are protected from being fired).
A better strategy is to focus primarily on the Average Achievers – the 60 percent or so who do their work but aren’t going to be recognized as top performers. Since they rarely reach the level of being recognized as a star employee, they can be overlooked and go for years without hearing any words of encouragement or praise.
However, as a supervisor, you NEED these people. Yes, they tend to work on mundane, basic tasks, but you can’t perform well as a team if you lose your middle employees – your worker bees. In addition, if you neglect them they may quit or disengage, which will cause their performance to suffer.
WHAT CAN I DO? Spend more time supporting and encouraging your Average Achievers, as they are doing a decent and necessary job. Your efforts will keep them encouraged and engaged, and part of the team. They are valuable members.