We can all tend to gravitate our energy and time with those who are energetic, self-motivated, and easily encouraged. It’s natural to find satisfaction in people that challenge us and keep us intellectually stimulated.
We also derive satisfaction when working with someone who is struggling. We pat ourselves on the back and feel a well-deserved sense of accomplishment at the end of the day.
But, what about the “Average Performer?” What about the worker that is “just fine?” Have you ever stopped to consider those individuals in the group that you know could do better, but seem to coast along?
Outside The Comfort-Zone
You have seen them before – that group of people that you know can do better. It’s not that they are failing outright. Nonetheless, as a skilled coach, you can clearly see they are coasting as an average performer. We may tend to “back away” from spending time with this group for a few reasons.
One reason is that the average performer isn’t usually interested in outright improvement. They have no reason or motivation to improve. After all, they do their job, punch in, punch out, and feel they are a “good employee.”
The truth is, they have been allowed to coast for so long that this has become their normal.
Another reason is that managers can’t seem to find that motivational edge that will supply the incentive to drive the individual to improve performance.
There is a secret to reaching the average performer – quality time!
Steps for Focus and Encouragement
Five steps to coach an “average” performer:
- Schedule time. Take time to talk with the individual that is performing poorly or at the average level. There may be personal factors, work changes, health changes, or simply a lack of incentive.
- Define boundaries. Review key elements of each job and set challenging growth targets where they have the opportunity to win at something. They will be inspired to achieve even more!
- Be flexible. How is your “average” performer adapting from day to day? Provide encouragement often to help them excel and adopt a high-performance attitude.
- Focus on contribution. Keep your average performer focused on growing with the team. You can help them look for the next “stretch” and reinforce each “win” as they succeed.
Spending time with them and having a constructive attitude can influence people to improve exponentially! Couple this with coaching and people will find value in their performance.