What ultimately separates top-performing employees from average performing employees? When evaluating the hierarchy of a corporate environment, what truly separates those who rise to the top and those who seem destined to fall among the lower ranks? Is it the employee habits?
The answer may seem obvious. Those who work hard, perform best and achieve the most should be rewarded and recognized for their efforts. And in fact, some outstanding individuals do possess the tenacity and drive to naturally succeed in their work environment. But for all others- with everything else being somewhat ‘equal’- what sparks the shift from average employee to high achiever? And for those who never seem to produce the results necessary for greater achievement, what is holding them back? You may be surprised to hear that, outside of an individual’s own personal drive, the second greatest contributing factor might just be you.
First, let’s explore the typical pathway for ‘top performers’. These gifted employees are often regularly recognized for their natural ability to rise above, to take on new initiatives and make them their own, and to achieve- no matter what the circumstance. These individuals are often groomed for success, given access to additional training, and generally nurtured by their organization. The key is that individuals who demonstrate this drive and ability oftentimes have their efforts recognized and reinforced by management, who wants to see them succeed. So while there is a natural inclination for high achievers to ‘give it their all’, these employees are often the most likely to have their actions consistently approved or corrected and to receive the kind of positive reinforcement needed to continue down the pathway of success.
Now, let’s focus on the average or low-performing employee. While some of these individuals may not possess the same natural drive for achievement, many underperforming employees possess the same level of intelligence and skill as their higher-achieving cohorts. In fact, many of these individuals attend the same training, go to the same meetings, and are given the same quality leads. Outside of their own personal motivation- what sets these individuals apart in an office environment? It is possible that the outside perception of the underachiever is actually ultimately contributing to they underperformance? Could organizations, perhaps, be cultivating this culture of underachievement in some way?
For instance, while top performing employees are constantly having their work praised and analyzed, lower achieving employees have their work torn apart with a more critical eye. While the ‘achievers’ are rewarded, the underachievers are punished. And while the top performers are ultimately given promotions- the lowest achieving individuals may find themselves unemployed. While there are of course plenty of instances where these fates are warranted, what about those individuals whose poor habits could have been corrected by an intervention from management? What if their inconsistencies were actually measured and tracked, so they could later be reviewed and corrected? What if these same employees could be saved from the fate of underachievement, and your company could be spared the expense of continual employee turn over costs?
Even if you are routinely investing in training for your employees- we know that, without reinforcement, these skills remain undeveloped and unmaintained. In fact, it is only through both coaching and continued guidance that an organization is able to develop the performance of their employees.
The CORE Results was designed with this dichotomy in mind. By providing specific performance metrics and results tracking- all subjectivity and opinion are successfully removed from employee performance evaluation. This, in turn, helps organizations look more objectively at employees, and make promotion recommendations based on empirical data rather than opinion. This also removes the risk of unnecessary employee turnover. With the newfound ability to focus on each individual employee’s strengths and weaknesses, management can now also focus on fostering and correcting these areas of underachievement.
All organizations have both top, average, and underperforming employees on their staff. And it is natural for some individuals to rise to the top and others to shine less brightly. However, it is the organization’s responsibility to implement a system that benefits all sides of the spectrum equally. By focusing more on coaching and implementation and less on subjective means of evaluation, your current and future employees have a greater chance at long-term success. And fostering the growth of your employees will also ultimately lead to greater results for your organization as a whole.