Improve by Encouraging the Best to Get Better


Richard explained, “I pick out my weakest employees and enroll them in remedial training.  Sometimes they struggle, but they know that I’m going to be in their grill until they improve.”

“How do you handle your top performers?” I asked.

“Oh, I appreciate them a lot but they don’t need much help.  If one has a weak area, I will get it corrected.”

Larson said, “I focus on growing and developing my stronger performers.  I get them the best training and equipment and I constantly seek their ideas for improvements.”

“How do you handle problem performers?”

“I overlook peccadilloes in strong performers.  If a good producer has trouble with one task, I reassign the task to someone else.  For experienced employees who are still marginal, I move them to another position or, if necessary, release them.

According to Gallup’s recent survey of more than thirty thousand employees, about thirty-four percent are engaged—involved, enthusiastic, committed—the highest in almost twenty years.

Larson’s focus on developing employees’ strengths is far more likely to create employee engagement.  Managers who stress “weakness fixing” have less than ten percent engaged employees.

Engaged employees are full of jollity; they produce more and their companies are more profitable.

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