Talents and the high price of not recognizing them

Waste of talents:


«We already pay you for doing what you have to do».


For how many times have we heard this phrase in our organizations?


In essence, this sentence has a lot of crumbs in it. We need to crumble them up more finely to understand the gist of this statement.


Do what you have to do.

In return for providing a service, solving a problem and meeting a need within organizations, people receive a fixed payment from the organization.


Do it very well.

Additionally, depending on the level of performance that the professional achieves and if the results are higher, a system of variable remuneration can be set up. The better the performance and the achieved results, the higher the salary.


So far, both parties have understood how things work. However, until the world does not change, there will always be a discrepancy in the perception of justice and fairness regarding the quantitative variable). 


Do it very well. Above and beyond.

Even so:


We all know professionals who always go one step further in their performance, standing out for their commitment, involvement and dedication



This is the attitude we would like to see for all the staff in our organization. And it is right this behaviour that spontaneously occurs with some of the professionals.



Those who DO will have a greater and better recognition. Sounds logical, doesn´t it?

Following the above logic, all this would lead us to think that those professionals who produce and contribute even beyond what is negotiated will obtain greater rewards and high doses of recognition.


Well, in fact organizational reality and everyday life makes us take a hard look at the following cycle.


For this excellent performance, the professional is compensated with:


  • Increased workload.
  • The addition of new functions to his position for which he is not yet prepared.
  • The common oversimplification that assumes if someone is good at one job he/she will automatically — and almost magically — become good at another job that is not related to the first job. Who hasn’t heard of an organization that promoted the best of its salespeople to head of sales?




Consequences directly affecting the commitment of our staff.

Following this cycle, our top performing professional will gradually end up exhausted, unmotivated. They will hold the perception of not performing as expected and probably with the implicit and perhaps explicit message that he or she is not contributing to the realization of the objectives.


Not to mention, when the performance was excellent and above average, no one was reinforcing his/her behaviour. However, when his/her level was low and the first failures occurred he/she was feeling the accusing finger very close to his face.



This story is being replayed all too often with its detrimental effect on the entire organization:


  • Excellent performing collaborators lose their productivity and find themselves suffocated, overloaded or unmotivated.
  • People with an expected but not brilliant performance learn by the observation that getting more involved in that organization has detrimental results, consequently they do not advance in their development process and deployment of their potential.
  • Poor performing people may even be reinforced in their behavior since the tasks that should be carried out by them are assigned to others with superior performance in order to be executed (in the short term) with greater competence. As a result, they are relieved of their burdens.


In this scenario, mediocrity is at work and the consequences are highly dramatic:


  • Waste of talents.

Think of all the money you have invested in your selection and recruitment processes. All efforts dedicated to bringing these people to a proper level of performance have been in vain.


  • Say farewell to the best talents in your organization.

You are rewarding mediocre talents. Those who do not innovate, those who do not deliver, those who do only just enough. You are encouraging and rewarding mediocrity. And:


Mediocre companies just only achieve mediocre results.


The competent, high-performing ant talents employees will come to your office and tell you plain and simple that they have found a better job. Do not expect them to tell you about anything you are letting happen in your organization. If you do not want to put in the effort, they have long since abandoned the ship, least of all.


Employer Branding is the magic word.


All the marketing campaigns, your attendance to forums to talk about how much you care about the talents in your organization,etc. are wasted when your best brand ambassadors(your professionals) talk of how you treat them.

The key to your employer branding strategy is to start at the basis and from the inside out. Nothing you communicate to the outside will yield any results if you do not start working on what really matters.


In conclussion, if we want to head toward Agile High-Performance Organizations, our systems for recognizing excellent behavior and rewarding superior performance levels must be planned, executed, and enhanced.

Ready for Agility and High Performance – what do you answer?


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