This is a bit of a conundrum for HR professionals. Motivating an employee with limited capabilities and high willingness to raise the bar is a challenge. But this is much easier than that of goading the talented employee with the attitude of “I can, but I won’t”!
This is the typical employee who knows his onions, but is simply too complacent to stretch himself into excelling. What does the HR manager do with this kind of employee?
Try different routes
The first and foremost thing to bear in mind is that the HR and management have to be convinced that the employee unwilling to stretch himself is actually an excellent resource to have, if only a little orientation is made to his attitude. If the employee is plain lazy, he has to be disciplined for it. In the case of talented employees who are holding themselves back, the only impediment is the mindset. In the case of such an employee, all that is needed is goading. Different motivational tools work for different people, and with the unwilling employee, many tricks have to be pulled out of the bag.
Give them challenges
When an employee is talented but is unwilling to go the distance, it is a sign that he is bored. This is the most common reason for which a talented employee lies low. The answer is to give such an employee a really wide array of items to work on. This will foster greater involvement and fuel challenge in him. Once that work is over, before he gets into the shell, another equally challenging assignment has to be given. All this of course, is only after the management is truly convinced about this employee’s usefulness to the organization.
Of course, there could be other reasons such as not getting along with a colleague or teammate. The HR has to dig a little and find out the root cause for the employee’s attitude. If it is indeed this, then the solution is simple –shift either the employee or thatcolleague out of the team and make them work in different departments or areas of work. This is good for both of them, and more importantly, for the organization.
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