This short article/blog entry will elicit two distinctly different reactions: some will wince and accuse me of being hard-hearted and, yet, others will see the common sense logic in my perspective and nod in full agreement.
No one is entitled to a job per se. Entitlement results in lethargy and mediocrity or, put more bluntly, laziness and a lack of appreciation for what one has. More appropriately, we are and should be entitled to the opportunity of being fairly considered and evaluated according to our abilities, talents, experience and accomplishments.
All of us have experienced employees in our daily lives who make us wonder how they can possibly keep their jobs as a result of bad attitudes, lethargy, poor customer service and a general unwillingness to do any more than what is absolutely required of them. In some cases there are those who expend more energy into avoidance of standard tasks found in their own job descriptions. And don’t even get me started about feckless middle-managers who wile away their time clinging to, and protecting their own turf and fiefdoms at all costs – even at the expense of the company for which they are supposed to be working; so hiring the best available talent is not their primary concern much less is it on their list of priorities. Translated: best and brightest need not apply where mediocrity reigns, lest they become a threat. Really, I encounter it, I see and experience this stuff almost daily and yet senior management seems unable or unwilling to address their problems within.
Meanwhile, there are many potential applicants and people who are available, ambitious, qualified and eager to demonstrate to hiring managers how they can be a productive asset, if given the opportunity.
For business owners, senior decision makers and managers within companies who claim to want to do more than simply get by, the solutions are there sitting in front of them. Employee performance reviews exist for a purpose and if someone repeatedly fails to perform according to the established minimum acceptable standards, reprimand and if necessary, fire those unwilling or unable to appropriately adjust.
Until about 10 years ago Top-Grading was a method of seeking to improve the ranks of employees as a means of raising the bar for performance, even when fully staffed, in order to weed out weak links to be replaced by better employees – it was the buzz word of the day. Now, especially at a time when companies are tasked to do more with less (resources), ridding themselves of those who do not even meet the minimum standards is necessary. I suggest there are plenty of better alternative employees out there, who are likely more ambitious and dedicated than many of those merely occupying their current roles. When the status quo is not sufficient, change it.