This post first appeared in 2012, but I believe both its premise and its point deserve another airing.
As companies grow and managers build their organizations they frequently talk about “weeding out” low performing employees—Jack Welch was a ninja weeder.
If that thought has crossed your mind you might take a moment to think about James Russell Lowell’s comment, “A weed is no more than a flower in disguise.”
As with weeds, there are better ways to look at under-performing employees.
Seeing a weed as food changes everything, just as seeing people’s potential does.
95% of the time it’s management failures that create weeds and those failures run the gamut from benign neglect to malicious abuse and everything in-between.
Weeds can come from outside your company, inter-departmental transfers and even from peers in your own backyard.
What is amazing is how quickly a weed will change with a little TLC.
“Weeds can grow quickly and flower early, producing vast numbers of genetically diverse seed.”
People grow quickly, too, and often produce innovative ideas — just because someone listened instead of shutting them down.
And while trust that your attitude won’t change takes longer to build, the productivity benefits happen fairly rapidly.
So before you even think about weeding look in the mirror and be sure that the person looking back is a gardener and not a weed producer.
Flickr image credit: Clare Bell