Monday, February 14, 2011

Weeding Out High Maintenance People

In my experience, high maintenance people can suck the capacity right out of an organization. I learned that in several of the management roles that I have had. Here are my issues with high maintenance people:

  • Take up significant management time. In my experience, high maintenance employees take up 80% of my management effort, leaving less time to spend with my top performers. Although one might expect benefits from such an investment, I found high maintenance people usually changed or improved the least.

  • Have an inflated view of themselves. Most high maintenance people that I have known believe they are top performers, despite feedback to the contrary. Sometimes they see themselves as God's gift to the organization.

  • Low performance in areas of responsibility. From what I've seen, high maintenance people display lots of activities but low amounts of real work. They send out lots of e-mail, work on lots of committees, and volunteer for projects not related to their responsibilities.

  • My solution is to put high maintenance people in roles of high individual responsibility, where outcomes are clear and contributions are due primarily to their own work. As a result, I spend less time with the person, since the role is clear, and the results from the person's work is obvious, making it harder to inflate.

    In some cases, the high maintenance person will turnaround their performance, which is great. In other cases, the high maintenance person will move on their own accord to a new organization or company. In either case, the problem with the high maintenance person is solved for me.

    For more on Strategies and Plans Ideas, check back every Monday for a new segment.

    This is not financial advice. Please consult a professional advisor.

    Copyright © 2011 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

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