Average performers can be all-star employees, but they are often overlooked. As employers, we tend to put a large focus on our top performers – and for good reason! What’s not to love about them? Top performers generate the most leads, bring in the highest profits, and always complete their objectives. They deserve to be praised! We also spend a great deal of energy worrying about our bottom performers. We are hard on them, hoping that if we push them just the tiniest bit harder, we can get them to reach their objectives. It’s important to look at our organizations from top to bottom, but that includes spending the same amount of time and energy looking after our middle performers.
Average Performers Are Awesome
Average performers are the backbone of many organizations. They come to work and get the job done. While their jobs might not be as extravagant as some of the top performers’ jobs, their work is vital to the company. Your business wouldn’t be able to run without them!
While high performers make up the top 20% of our employees, our low performers only make up about 15% of them. This means that our average performers make up a whopping 65% of our employee base! Top performers bring in plenty of business, but at a cost. Many top performers feel overworked as it is, while others feel they can’t further grow. As for bottom performers, data from Harvard Business Review shows that no matter how much you coach them, many of them are simply poor fits for the roles they are in. When putting time and money into training and employee growth, we should be focusing on the middleman. Average performers are typically in it for the long haul. While some of them are happy enough doing adequate work, many of them aren’t high performers because they don’t have the tools or motivation to get there.
Turn Average Performers Into Above Average All-Stars
So how can we help average performers reach greater heights? There are several ways that you can help average performers step up to the plate. Below are five of our suggestions to get the most out of your average performing employees.
Recognize Their Hard Work
Average does not mean bad. It’s important to recognize that the work average-performing employees are doing is meaningful to your business. This might look like acknowledging their hard work during team meetings, incentives for meeting sales goals, or salary increases. Even just sending them an email acknowledging how hard they’ve been working might mean a world of difference to these employees. While exalting these performers is important, it’s necessary to follow this praise with constructive feedback on how they can improve.
Seek What Motivates Them
Every employee is motivated differently. Some employees find value in money and promotions, while others are happy enough with great work-life balance and a sense of value in their work. Finding out what motivates your average performer’s lets you discover how to help them perform better. Taking the time to meet individual employees allows you to discover overlooked talents and motivational factors that would allow them to shine.
Give Them Missing Tools
Many average performers want to be high performers. The only thing missing is the resources they need to become superstar staff members. Average performers might be lacking the knowledge or the skills necessary to improve their performance. You can fix this by implementing a mentor system or doing some individual coaching with staff members. Showing average performers what top performance looks like from high-level performers really helps them understand what they need to do to advance to the next level.
Encourage Employees to Continue Growing
Career growth is something that means a lot to employees. When interviewing for jobs, the potential to grow within the company is a top priority for many candidates. There are many ways in which you can help foster employee growth. One excellent way to do this is to simply talk to them one-on-one about their interests and goals. What do they want to achieve while they are employed at your company? Sometimes they might have interests that don’t necessarily align with their job roles but might help the company in other ways. It’s important to help them further develop these interests and encourage them to apply for similar positions that may open up at your company in the future. Internally promoting your average employees really helps to build culture and trust. You should always be loyal to loyal employees.
Define Their Objectives
While it’s great to find things about every employee to celebrate, it doesn’t mean that you should be lowering your expectations based on their current performances. If you accept average performance, work standards will slowly but surely slip. No management team should accept mediocrity. Instead, set the bar just a little higher for employees each time you address their performance expectations. Average employees will usually try to at least match them. Remember that objectives should always be clear and achievable. They should also be realistic. A C-level performer is not going to become an A+ employee in a week. Be patient and train well.
Bryq Builds All-Star Teams
Average employees deserve praise, recognition, and opportunity. Without these loyal employees, teams would fall apart and businesses wouldn’t be as successful. Your focus shouldn’t be on getting as much as you can out of your top performers, or low-level performers who will struggle to advance. Put your focus on average employees who make up the bulk of your team. They are full of potential and often want to prove themselves.
Remember that each employee is motivated differently and will grow at different rates. With the right training and mentorship, average performers will eventually get to where you want them to be. It’s also important to keep in mind that many average performers are happy enough doing average work. Not everybody is going to want to become a top performer. While this is fine, make sure you are continuously raising the bar a little higher for average performers. They will push through and meet these new expectations so long as they are reasonable.
Bryq can help identify power performers through our talent assessments and science-backed results. While a candidate might seem like an average performer, you will see that many of these candidates have the potential to be really special. When looking at Bryq assessment results, take into consideration their OCEAN traits – especially “openness”. This gives employers a good idea of who might be a diamond in the rough if given extra training and attention. This effort will allow average performers to become all-stars in no time.