By Kate Morgan October 14, 2021 We spend so much time to praise exceptional workers. But the average worker is just as important - so why don't they get their due? the most remarkable employeeswith the best reputation and the biggest ideas; the person always on the front line for a raise, promotion or employee of the month award.
In the age of exception, it's easy to see going above and beyond as the only way to success. If you are not the top performer in the office now, according to conventional wisdom, you should strive to make it happen. But while we like to think of ourselves as good at our jobs, the vast majority of workers are not the top performers.
However, just being proficient - or "average " - at a job isn It's not "that's a bad thing. Not all workers want to be. And, in fact, the average worker is essential - if not more than the superstar.
Employees mid-pack are often slandered or even misunderstood, according to Paul White, a Kansas, US Psychologist specializing in work culture. "Think of any curve, thMost people don't fall somewhere in the middle, ”he says. "Most of the employees are average, and that's a good thing.
White says it's like an American football team. “You can have the best quarterback, running back and wide receiver. But if you don't have a group of solid blocks and tackles, these stars can't perform, ”he says. "You have to have everyone for the team to be successful. The importance of this intermediate worker is not sufficiently valued. "
It's perfectly okay to be perfectly adequate
The simplest definition of" medium, "says Danielle Crough, organizational psychologist at the 'University of Nebraska in Omaha, USA, is a hardworking who meets expectations - no more and no less.
And while some may start in the middle of the pack and end up performing better, many average workers, White explains, don't wantslow to be at the top of the heap leaderboard. "The reality is that a lot of people don't want to be a star," he says. "They have family, children, other things are happening. They don't want more responsibility at work. It's not always about being good at work. Some will go up, some will go down and some will stay in the middle. "
But being firmly in the middle, Crough says, doesn't mean an employee's career is on point. dead or his skills have stagnated. "That could actually be an indication that they're in their sweet spot," she says.
And while the professional culture praises top performers It is perfectly acceptable to be perfectly adequate, explains White. The role of the average worker is essential in running a business. Middle workers are extremely valuable to employers because these people, doing the day-to-day work, enable a small number ofworkers to go above and beyond. “Average workers show up, follow instructions and try to come to an agreement. And an employee like that is a nugget: I'm going to build a team on these people all day. "
A lack of recognition
Even if the simple act of completing a job deion is what a worker wants, employers do not always reward staying in this so called great place. In an exceptional culture, doing what is expected is not considered an accomplishment. And this is a big deal, because a lack of recognition can quickly lead to a feeling of worthlessness. ed - and even push workers to quit their jobs.
“Most organizations and businesses have some form of employee recognition program,” White explains. The problem, he adds, is that these tend to honor a very small group of employees. "One of the things we do know is that these performance and recognition programs tend to only hit the top 10% or 15% of any band, and those are the stars.
This leaves "a large middle group - 50% or 60%", according to White's estimate, whose contributions, because they are not exceptional, go completely unnoticed.
This is not the employee who stands out - or you don't want to be? This is relatively correct, and employers should reward average workers (Credit:)
"The real problem is that almost 80% of people who voluntarily quit cite lack of appreciation as one of the main factors, ”says White. This number comes from a study by the OC Tanner Institute, which also showed 65% of Americans said they were not recognized at work in the year before the survey.
This lack of recognition for the average employee, Crough adds, seems to be driving the Great Resignation in progress, in which workers are quitting their jobs in record numbers.
“People don't feel valued,” she said. “Organizations that say, 'hey, we care, we appreciate you, we appreciate what you do' are not the ones that are losing their staff. But when your boss hasn't complimented you since 2016 and a recruiter calls and says, "Hey, we think you're awesome and we want you to be here," you're going to perk up.
Changing the definition of success
Recognizing the contribution of average workers is not only good for these employees, it is vital for employers. Keeping the midfielders engaged and on board literally keeps businesses going, as these workers keep operations running smoothly.s daily.
"In this economy, you cannot find replacements," White adds. "So retaining your team is essential for an organization to continue to function effectively. " And to do this, companies will need to change the way people are recognized and the parameters by which a 'good job' is. measured.
Employees who meet - but do not exceed - expectations do not meet expectations. the bare minimum, says Crough. The you do exactly what they are supposed to be, and that deserves to be recognized. "Doing what you're supposed to do is really special," Crough continues. "The worker who is consistent and shows up is so valuable, and we need to give him even more credit these days.
Average performance should be celebrated, too, Crough adds. Rewards and honors aren't just for those who go above and beyond. “We should create rewards atturn of things like consistency of performance, ”she said. “More recognition of this would help. It's like the kid in school getting the attendance award: we need a version of it for the workplace.
In addition to additional honors like rewards, Crough says it's also important to ensure that workers who are delivering consistent performance, even if it doesn't change, must be recognized in other ways.
"Don't tie increases to promotion," she said. “Continuing to give merit increases and bonuses to people who operate in the middle is a good thing. I also talk to leaders a lot about saying thank you, and remembering to do it even for things that seem basic. We need to be intentional and let people know that they are taken care of as whole people and that their efforts are recognized.
Appreciate the worktheir means, says White, is one of the best ways for organizations to overcome the Great Resignation without losing critical members of their teams. "The companies and the leaders who get it - who understand the value of their day-to-day work and pay attention to it - are among the top performers," he says, "not only from a profitability standpoint, but also from the point of view of employee retention. , and maintain a positive culture. "