Sorting out uncommitted employees

February 4, 2016 By    

In a bacon and egg breakfast, the chicken is involved, but the pig is committed.

Is there a player on your team who is skilled at his job but is uncommitted to improving his performance? Perhaps you have tried to coach this person to help him improve by setting goals, but he resists because he resents the scrutiny. Peter Rowe offers some insight from his book “Solving the People Puzzle.”

According to Rowe, employees who are competent yet uncommitted to personal development can probably “do the job,” but they will be a grind to work with. He says they are far less productive than their counterparts, but we keep them around because we hate recruiting and don’t know if we can find better employees as a substitute.

Uncommitted employees follow a routine and do what they want to do in a manner they like to do it. If you suggest some changes they need to make, they will likely give you pushback. These employees learned their jobs through routine and don’t learn from mistakes. Rowe adds uncommitted employees cannot stand being seen as incompetent, for their ego is too big.

“They don’t care about what you are trying to achieve; they only care about their own comfort,” Rowe writes in his book.

Your most productive employees probably wonder why you tolerate this behavior. Perhaps the person uncommitted to personal development would be happier working for someone else.


Ken Albrecht is president of Reliable Propane in Clarence Center, N.Y.

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