"I am facing a strange problem . I have a person in my team who is very efficient. If he is available in the shift , I do not have to worry at all . I know everything will be done perfectly and the delivery quality will be good with no complaints at all" .
"Go ahead ", I said " I don't see any problem at all !"
"Well, the problem is that he takes advantage of his efficiency ".
"What do you mean ?"
"For example, if the shift duty is from 7 am to 3 pm and he comes at 8 am , he does not stay back to make up for the lost time. If I ask him to do so, he says that he is more productive than the others in the team . Again there are times when he flaunts himself and says that since he is more efficient, he should get some extra compensation for that"
"Hmm ... "
"Though the rest of the team does not say anything, but I feel that hostility is building up and they feel that I am being partial to that person. Since he is so good, I don't want to admonish him or be very severe with him ,since I know that I need him for the success of my operations ... What should I do ? "
This is not a very uncommon situation at work. Sometimes, managers are almost exploited and held at ransom.
So what should he do ?
My take on this ...
- It is a very dangerous situation for an organization if we become people dependent. Our processes should be so strong that the delivery quality is predictable and standardized under any constraints. I know that putting a system in place is time consuming and many organizations do not want to invest in this, but ultimately, this becomes the main differentiator between successful and unsuccessful companies. This is one of the main Mantra for growth and stability.
- If the manager tolerates the behaviour described above, it means that s/he is compromising with the sense of equity and justice of his or her team. Two things become evident to the team. First, the confidence and integrity of the manager becomes blurred and secondly the simmering feeling of unfairness might eventually turn into an imbroglio. No project can be successful if there is lack of tuning in the team members. So, the manager should first give the priority to the harmony in his team.
- The manager should not tolerate indiscipline but should also give reward for efficiency and productivity . This can be done in various ways like appreciation letters, monetary rewards etc. Again, the reward should not be too easy to achieve. This way the excellent performer will be rewarded . This will also motivate others in the team to perform better.
- Trainings should be an integral part of work. This will ensure that the average performance of the team improves . Trainings also boosts the morale of the people and they feel that the company cares for their growth. Hands on trainings, mentoring, induction trainings should be planned carefully and implemented religiously.
Personally, I always prefer to have a person in my team who is hardworking, sincere, takes initiative and ownership. If I have to choose between a genius with an attitude problem and an average performer with lots of initiative, enthusiasm and eagerness to learn, I will promptly choose the latter.
Equity, fairness, integrity and strength of character are values which should never be compromised with.
Not even for a few shifts of perfectly smooth operations.
Friends, what are your views ?