Why Being Good at Your Job Doesn’t Make You a Good Employee
by Glenn Shepard
March 22, 2016
Category: Careers & Management
I work at
a physical therapy clinic with only 2 employees besides
the owner. The other employee does just what needs to be
done to get by. I’m going on vacation and when I told
her I at least needed her to do the insurance billing
while I’m gone, she said she was hoping the owner's wife
would come in and do it. She reluctantly told me to
teach her the "bare minimum... I don't want to know how
to do that job." I’m really getting tired of this
attitude. She is doing sub-par work even though she
thinks she is working herself to death. What can I do
Sandy in Arkansas
of the paradoxes of personal growth is that most people
think they’re doing the most they can do because none of
us know what we’re capable of until we reach our limit.
Most of us don’t reach our limit are until something or
someone pushes us to that limit. Ask someone who has 5
kids and they’ll tell you 5 is the most they can handle.
But if you ask someone who has 6, they’ll tell you 6 is
their limit. And so on.
boss needs to have one of those “Come to Jesus” meetings
with this employee and explain that in a practice that
size, everyone will always be expected to do more than
they think they’re capable of doing – but will never be
given more than they can handle. She’ll give him
pushback, but she’ll also be amazed when she discovers
how much more she’s capable of being.
Thanks for your
Glenn in Nashville, TN
the red Ask Glenn button to submit a question. You may
remain anonymous if your prefer.
Most of the articles you read in
this weekly column are geared toward management. This one is
geared toward non-management employees, so that you as a manager
can pass this around to those who need to hear it.
Managers who’ve attended my seminars from California to New York
and just about everywhere in between tell me about someone who’s
a hard worker and good employee, but makes life miserable for
their coworkers and their boss.
These managers are
Someone who’s good at what they do is not a
good employee; they’re only a good worker. In order to be a good
employee, they must have at least three qualities – regardless
of what field they’re in.
1. They Must Be Good At What They Do
This is the obvious part that both management and non-management
understand. No matter how likable, dependable, or hard-working
someone is, they won’t be a good employee if they’re not good at
performing the actual job. But this is only part of the
equation, and it’s the next two parts that so many people miss.
2. They Must “Play Well With Others”
get graded on how well they get along with others, but most
adults don’t. This is odd because we as managers are constantly
preaching the importance of teamwork, but all too often put up
with “Lone Rangers” who work well independently but can tick off
every single person who’s ever worked with them. It’s like these
people just say things in a way that makes others want to hurt
them. They’re not bad people; they’re just
miserable people to
3. They Must Be (Reasonably) Easy to Manage
There are also people who are good at what they do, and get
along with their coworkers, but suck up so much of the manager’s
time and energy that managing them is almost a full-time job.
These folks are good workers and good team players, but they’re
not good employees. Everyone’s time is valuable, but managers’
time is especially valuable since they have to divide it between
multiple employees. The more of a manager’s time an employee
takes up, the further they move from being an asset to the
company and the closer they come to being a liability.
order to be a good employee, all three of these qualities must
To Your Success,
P.S. This was
excerpted from Glenn’s new employee training DVD set. Click
here to preview it for free.
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