Tag Archives: People Management

Make it right!

Why is it we tend to come down hardest on the people that do the most to help us, the people that will rather than the people that should?

Just because they always do what you ask of them, you expect more.  The workload becomes increasingly imbalanced.  Those who do, do more.  Those who don’t, avoid the work and the weight of expectations.

It’s hard to break the habit.  It requires more of us too; to distribute the work evenly, to battle against the inertia.  Things will take longer, need to be checked more thoroughly, require more re-work,

The alternative of course is to recognise the work that is done.  Reward people disproportionately.  Make it worth their while.  If some people are special, make them feel that way.  Make the others envy them, strive to emulate them, then give them a chance to grow.  Make it right!

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Introducing the “guilty few”

Some people are able to control their workload, stay on top of their schedules, delegate effectively and maintain a healthy work / life balance.

Others are unable to say “No”, becoming the “go to” people when something comes up, or needs to be done urgently.  Control of workload goes out of the window as demand is created randomly, from a number of different sources.  Effective performance proves they have capability as well as willingness, and the workload tends to build.

I believe there is a third category of worker.  A category that is rarely recognised but exists in every office.  I call them the “guilty few”.

The “guilty few” have the tendency to compound the fact that they are unable to say “No” with the fact that, racked by guilt, they compulsively volunteer – piling work onto themselves as well as picking up other people’s cast offs.  They are unable to ignore a task that needs to be done.  Unwilling to explain why they shouldn’t do it.  Unable to point the finger elsewhere.  In meetings, actions gravitate towards them.  Capacity is never a consideration.  It will get done.

For the “guilty few”, work / life balance is straightforward – they have no life.  Workload is infinite.  There’s always something to do.  They become so entrenched in sheer workload that advancement becomes a distant dream; quantity masks quality, output hides potential.

This is not a healthy place to get to, and almost impossible to get out of without a dramatic intervention.  Generally they need help and support to break the habit, to let go.

Do you recognise the profile?  How do you deal with the “guilty few”?