You know, when I hear companies tout the performance level of their employees, I do have to wonder what sort of expectations they are setting. There isn’t a company out there, including the one I work for, that doesn’t brag about having A+ performers. So what happens when someone makes a mistake or has a C day?
Leaders have to really dig deep into how their culture is affecting employee wellbeing. If there is a culture of extreme perfectionism in an organisation, it likely won’t be the positive you think it is. Scratch the surface, and you may find exhausted, burnt-out staff who are running on empty just to keep up with the perfectionist façade.
I suspect in eDiscovery this is an issue, and it might be why people are starting to look at other areas and move out of the industry, because mistakes happen, and the workplace that allows it to happen and figures out how to fix it properly is the one who wins, not the one who only hires A+ performers and cuts loose the kinds of workers who make mistakes.
So I think there’s a lot to think about here, especially around the difference between having “perfect” performers and people who are generally A+ folks who sometimes have bad days at work because life is like that, not to mention the other details they get into around whether bad days for a broken leg are treated the same as bad days for poor mental health or another outside of work issue that is dragging down their focus.
Those happen too. They are valid, and not allowing for people to, in essence, be human, is not going to be a sustainable model. Whether you want to talk about constant reminders that anything less than ideal performance is not tolerated or how much we reward folks for just working more hours than everyone else, we would do well to consider the kinds of messages we are putting out to employees and how much our own culture is creating the stress and burnout that is pushing people to leave the industry.