Be Careful What You Ask For

Many managers struggle with employee performance. It is evident when you look at job description that often list “self-starter people” or “independent thinker” and other similar statements as highly desired characteristics.

The fact is that at work you’ll find different kinds of individuals

  • Those who need prompts to do their job
  • Those who are self-motivated
    • to perform their job functions
    • to look for additional duties beyond their own

Leaders hope for the last type listed here to work for them because they believe that these individuals will work with as little supervision as possible. And how could this be a bad thing after all? They also hope to avoid those who appear to need direction because they appear to be the least motivated individuals in the group.

The issues leaders face with highly motivated people are not as obvious as those you’d expect from low-motivated individuals.  It begins when these highly independent and self-motivated people start diverting their attention to extracurricular work activities that are not aligned with the corporate objectives.

High energy and motivation can be an asset, but only when it is pointed in the right direction. Don’t assume just because someone shows initiative that that they will know what they are supposed to do or what their boundaries are.

Always set clear expectations with individuals and discuss clearly what the boundaries are, both in terms of minimum expectations as well as how far their independence can reach.

To discuss how you can get access to training about alignment and how to maximize the potential of highly motivated employees Contact Us Today.

Posted in Consulting, Skills for Managers, Staff Training.