That moment when your daughter walks in with her boyfriend. So much infatuation and silliness in the air. I dread the idea of meeting the creep who thinks he’s going to take the heart of either of my daughters. Honestly, I trust their judgment, so I don’t fret often, but images of Mallory walking in with Nick on Family Ties haunt me.
Nick represented the very worst that a parent would hope for their child – an out of work artist with a lack of formal education and few prospects for the future. This is gold for a sitcom. And while Mallory’s devotion for Nick and her commitment to seeing the best in him made their relationship endearing, it was not the reality her family saw.
Seeing what isn’t there might be your current MO. Have you been maintaining a hope for an employee who just won’t rise to the expectation? How have you PIP’d yourself silly with this person? Have you spent too much time justifying continued employment? Count how many “but” sentences you endure when discussing this person with the manager. We may indulgently over-qualify the employee by continuing a stance of defensiveness. We may, also, send a clear message to the other staff as to what our values or expectations actually are for employment and contribution.
When I was in 8th grade, the school decided to purposely mix the very best of the class with the very worst of the class (academically) in the hopes that the best would influence the worst. Since you’re a reasonable person, you can imagine what happened. The best was less than inspired and often threatened not to do well. It was a failed experiment. The school needed to address the issues with the “worst” and help them to move along incrementally instead of the goal of valedictorian.
Look at who is taxing your time. Why are they? Why do you have the expectations you do? Honestly look at it. There is not room for multiple “Nicks” at any organization. It must be dealt with in a constructive, non-desperate manner.
But think about this entire situation from the other side. What if instead of Nick being an individual employee, he is the organization itself?
The impact of the employee experience matters. Organizations need to do some deep introspection to determine if they’ve painted a less than appealing picture of what it means to work for the company. Organizations may spend more time on the appearance of being a worthy landing spot rather than actually being a worthy landing spot. You can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig. You can ride around in a Benz, but you might still be a scrub. Is your company a scrub?
The effort it takes to give the appearance of a great place to work (or employer of choice, as so many like to say they are) might be better directed to being a great place to work. Look at the initiatives around learning management, job enlargement, collaboration, transparency and equity. The organization should be leveraging its positives to impact areas of concern or development. Refine objectives and uphold values in those goals. Introduce consistency in a fresh way to process and to communication. There is good work to be done here.
You’ve entered a relationship when you accept an offer of employment. You’ve decided to put the very best of who you are in the service of a company. The company has decided to invest resources into this relationship, too. An organization should offer its very best to staff. It’s meant to be a fluid, supportive relationship. Perhaps it’s time to do a relationship check.