Many would say, in dandelions, the problem people, the weeds. They make up 30% of the work force. Intuitively and logically, we think it’s a good idea to go after them. Root them out or be nice to them, and all is well, we surmise.
The problem with that is twofold:
- Dandelions (Gallup Employee Engagement poll’s 20% “actively disengaged” employees) thrive on being the bad guys. They aren’t going away just because you spray a little scolding or discipline or love on them.
- Plus, if you get after the dandelions, the nice neutral daisies (Gallup’s 50%, the “disengaged” middle group) will get upset and think you are a harsh leader. They will gravitate to protect the dandelions. Not good. Now the 20% has become 70% against you.
The better investment of your time, energy and coaching will be with your roses. We avoid investing in them for two reasons:
- They do great on their own, so are easy to take for granted.
- If we do work closely with them we will get accused of having favorites by guess who? Not the daisies. It’s the dandelions who’ll be furious that you are ignoring them and focusing on the roses. They cry, Foul! Evil leader! You have favorites!
Leaders often buy into such nonsense and go neutral by just maintaining a “nice, polite” time with their daisies or wasting their precious time trying to redeem, restore, and salvage the dandelions. Neither attempt will get much done.
Roses are the key! They are Gallup’s “Engaged”. They like working for the company and for you. They are favorites, not because you are personal friends, relatives, or drinking buddies. They are your favorites because they invest in the team mission and vision—just like you—as “engaged” employees!
Roses are favorites because they:
“Consistently deliver, are responsive to customer needs, demonstrate good team and problem-solving skills and are highly attuned to the company’s mission. Nothing is as unfair at work as the equal treatment of unequal performers. Base your favoritism only on work performance and not on any other criteria that doesn’t specifically relate to your business.” (SkillPath Seminars 2016)
Yes! Have favorites and invest in them. Roses are your most likely candidates for being favorites. Sadly, they are also the most neglected by leaders for the simple reason that they are the most self -motivated, -sufficient, and -sustaining!
When the dandelions say, You’ve got favorites! Agree! Then tell them that they are favorites because they are working for our mission and vision. Invite the dandelion to become a favorite by doing the same as the roses. They will decline 99% of the time.
Daisies are watching all this. If you invest in your roses, the roses will help you lead, coach, and invest in the daisies! The dandelions will be squeezed and lose their power to control the team.
Argh, me hearty,
Click reply, and let me know what you think!