How to Destroy a Really Great Staff Member

You can hire the best of candidates to join your staff team – she has the right experience and good enthusiasm and lots of good ideas. She also, from her side of the picture, has high hopes that YOU are going to be a great leader and that you know how to train her so she can quickly gain control of her duties, and that you will allow her to demonstrate her competence. She starts with the anticipation that she is going to do a super job for you.

However, somewhere along the line this picture starts to erode. You notice her mistakes and correct her, you don’t give her enough validation and compliments to overcome the number of corrections; she also notices that you don’t trust her yet because you double check her on everything. Or, in the alternative, she may feel that you have a lack of interest in what she has accomplished or is getting done because you don’t communicate with her much at all nor give her directions and goals to achieve.

Additionally, she may have observed that you are quite overloaded and she offered to take on additional tasks such as doing the ordering of supplies or doing the bookkeeping or planning some promotion or marketing, but you put her off saying you like to do those yourself and that it would take too much time to train her. She then gets frustrated because you won’t delegate more to her so she can really help you. Great staff like to accomplish a lot and get things done.

In a nutshell, how to ruin a really great staff member is to fail to be a good leader and to delegate more to her so she is challenged in a fun and fulfilling way. Instead, you send her spiraling down from enthusiasm into boredom or lower because she isn’t allowed to contribute fully and is not allowed to demonstrate her competence. Most staff are not lazy – just under-appreciated and under-utilized.

Good leaders do not train followers, they train leaders under them. Delegate more and have great, happy staff.

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