Sad but true: Not everyone on the team is a star.

It’s been said that great managers know how to get extraordinary results from ordinary performers. Sometimes that means managing an employee who’s not absolutely horrible, but not good enough to count on for the most important stuff. In an ideal world, you might want to help those workers find more suitable work — somewhere else. But that’s not always an option.

To get the most out of so-so performers, consider these suggestions:

  1. Give them personal attention.
    Even the most passive employee may respond well to a personal explanation of how important it is that something get done.
  2. Arrange extra support for a given task or tasks.
    You may be able to give this additional backing yourself, or you may want to delegate it to a reliable subordinate.
  3. Look for hidden motivation.
    Maybe the person who’s not motivated by money or recognition will be spurred by a desire to, say, help people.
  4. Don’t expect 100% consistency. Remember, this person isn’t your star performer. Get used to the idea that he or she may do a great job this time and slack off the next. If you must assign these workers to mission-critical tasks, assume someone will have to monitor them closely.

photo credit: twodolla

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