Today’s organizations carry a desire to promote the concepts of high performance teams. Yet, few managers are willing to put in the work to make this happen. According to Merriam-Webster Online, mediocre is defined as ‘of moderate or low quality, value, ability, or performance.’ The concept of mediocre is synonymous with being average or ordinary. What individual worth his salt wants to be called mediocre?
Employers know how to deal with troublemakers in the organization or poor performers. However, how does an organization get rid of a person who is average? Who is willing only to do enough to keep his or her job? Perhaps, mediocre performance is generated by the lack of trust among workers. In 2010, a Right Management study of over 4,000 employees in the U.S. showed a problem with employee trust in in their organization.
Over 57% occasionally trusted their managers to make the right decisions. In fact, three quarters of all employees surveys had a low trust factor toward their managers. Why should they trust their supervisors?
Today’s American workers are one of the most effective workforces across the global when the gauge is high productivity. These workers are often greeted with deflating wages and threats of outsourcing of their jobs or company layoffs. Lee Ozley, management advisor, has been watching mediocre performance over the years as a consultant for businesses. He has been amazed at how senior managers allow mediocre performance to continue in their organizations: “When I then get to know some of the ‘mediocre’ performers, it is not too difficult to determine what they believe to be the perception of the boss regarding their performance.”
Why don’t bosses care enough about their colleagues to ‘tell it like it is?’ Even organizations with fairly sophisticated performance appraisal systems seem to have the same problem – people simply don’t know where they stand. How can an employee be expected to continuously improve if their boss won’t level with them?” Therefore, setting expectations and having a method to ensure compliance is critical.
Richard Daft, author of Management, argues the importance of management involvement in creating higher performance: “All managers have to pay attention to costs, but severe cost cutting to improve efficiency can sometimes hurt organizational effectiveness. The ultimate responsibility of managers is to achieve high performance….”
However, some organizations fail to understand that people are not like other resources. People can think and make different choices. Companies attempted to put their evaluations of their performance on autopilot with little regard of the individual employees.
Yet, Gareth Jones and Jennifer George, authors of Contemporary Management, argue that any performance appraisal should include meaningful feedback to employees: “For the appraisal and feedback component of a human resource management system to encourage and motivate high performance, managers must provide their subordinates with feedback.” However, employees are not fool with concerns by managers. Organizations need to build an engaging corporate culture that stimulates outstanding achievement instead of cynical employees who have mediocre performance.
Discuss the concept of mediocre employee performance in organizations.
© 2013 by Daryl D. Green