Four Types of Employees and How to Manage Them

I see four kinds of employees in every organization.  Here’s how leaders need to manage them:

  • High-performers who are excited about opportunities and getting results.  They need to see leaders who have a compelling vision of where they want to take the organization, and the ability to communicate it and put in place the plans to make it happen. If they don’t see this, they’ll disengage by degree until they leave.
  • Steady-performers who like their jobs, have friends at work, and consistently perform at a good levels.  They need to know that their jobs are valued and that changes are communicated in a way to reassure.  Without good communications, they get stressed and don’t perform well, but they rarely leave.
  • Vocal employees who tend to criticize, question, or stonewall any sort of change.  They are usually insecure about any sort of change to their roles.  Often, they are valuable.  They need help understanding specifically what their roles will be going forward.
  • People who do not fit the culture.  You can discern this not by reading their minds, but by their actions.  If they can’t change, and many cannot, then they must go.  This is true even if they are high performers, because the longer they remain, the more people believe that management condones their behavior.

Look for these types in your organization, particularly when you are driving change.

© Copyright 2016  Bob Legge

Bob Legge provides organizations with the ability to exceed their most ambitious goals.  I work with leaders of Fortune 500 companies, small and mid-size companies, nonprofits, education, and government. Together, we drive strategy, lead successful change, develop high performance cultures, improve individual and organizational performance, and produce faster, sustainable growth and value.  Contact him at

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