I have a theory which has been confirmed by my experience. There are three groups of people. The first group are the “Great Employees” – they will meet any challenge you put in front of them. They will figure it out and make it happen. They will do whatever they have to do and they make up roughly 30% of the workforce. You then have roughly 10% of the workforce who are in no way motivated to work. If you gave them government assistance they would be happy. You need to stay away from this group.
This leaves about 60% of our workforce who want to work; but, do not fall into the Great Employee category. I call these people – “The Great Opportunity”. Why? Because I have seen over and over, these are the people who have the greatest change when they are managed to succeed. The members of the Great Opportunity group generally have a higher degree of insecurities and they do not think they can be a Great Employee. They question whether they are smart enough, tough enough and have what it takes. What I have found is the answer to each of their questions is a resounding YES. The problem is they have to be convinced this is true for them individually - which is the hardest part. Once you convince them they can be a Great Employee - you will unlock a huge hidden asset and organizational opportunity.
The good news is you will start convincing all of them when you convince one of them
The first job I ever had started with a three month orientation/training which resulted in being State certified and I was shipped off to my assigned local office. From that point forward the formal training and development abruptly stopped and everything after that was OJT – on the job training. The vast majority of organizations are exactly like this. This works fine for the Great Employees as they will make it happen. However, this will frustrate the Great Opportunity employees. They will never attain the levels of competence and success they are capable of in this type of arrangement. They need your help and it will be worth it to you and them when they see the path clearly and believe the goal is attainable and worth it.
Speaking of paths, I like to hike and take nature trails. Don’t you love it when you are on a trail which is well marked? You know you are moving in the right direction? There is nothing more frustrating than a badly marked trail. Have you ever been on a trail which is leading to a beautiful spot at the end? While you are walking toward the spot you encounter someone who is walking back after being there and they say “It is worth it!!” The rest of the hike is easier because I now believe it will be worth it. This is what your Great Opportunity employees need and are looking for:
A well-marked path and a belief it is worth it.
Can you imagine the productivity gains if you took 60% of your workforce and made them dramatically more productive while slashing your employee turnover?