Happy People are More Productive

Linked – The cost of tolerating underperformance — and overlooking your high performers

Melanie writes about the cost of not dealing with your underperformers, but the more interesting part to me was this:

“The fact of the matter is: High performers tend to get the least amount of support across most companies.”

I think we can all agree that not dealing with your lowest performers poses some obvious risks, they won’t be producing as much, and they will force you to use up resources trying to cover for them and help them that could be used elsewhere. They are a drag on your attention and effort as a manager.

We tend not to think about the flip side of that. Perhaps it’s because we spend so much time and effort covering for the underperformers, or maybe we take them for granted, but our high performers need attention too. The most engaged and productive people in your workplace also need room to grow and develop. Not offering that to them is inviting them to go elsewhere. Not offering career development to your high performers because you are wasting all those resources to fix your lowest performers will not cut it. They deserve more than that, and someone will give it to them.

I don’t think I’m alone in having experienced this. You mostly see it when there’s a change or a new technology you need to learn. There are environments where you’ll get the opportunity to learn it together or be provided with some resources to assist with learning. Some environments will point you to one website and expect you to figure it out independently. Some of us have gotten pretty good at learning things alone, but that doesn’t mean we want to continue doing that. Not when we know it doesn’t need to be this difficult. Every time I’ve repeatedly been left to my own devices, it’s not been an environment I felt the need to remain in for long. The risk of burnout in that environment is extremely high.

That is what pushes your highest performers out the door.

Good luck to you when they leave. Read some of the details Melanie offers on what that will cost you.


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