Unthrottle the go-to bottlenecks. Empower, train and fire.

Ever play nation ball? I loved it growing up. It was a dodge ball variant that really rocked with fast-paced action, mystery, misery, intrigue, redemption, success, failure and ultimate victory.

Like the workplace.

In nation ball (as in many games of my youth) there were usually these players:

This was the hierarchy. HR was made up of the teachers and playground aides, the watchdogs, who only cared about maintaining order and compliance; not a lot of T&D going on to facilitate better mad nation ball skills (or tetherball, or four square, or hopscotch, or kickball, or...).

It wasn't about "everybody's a winner" and "everybody gets to play". You either fought to be a go-to, or you remained expendable. Or you were a pariah.

Right or wrong those were the rules of the playground. Maybe the rules at your company today.

Sure, with all the talk of employee development and engagement and retention and the need to hold on to your talent, you'd think that wasn't the case.

But business is crazy-fast these days across industries and there's limited time to help the expendable crew members, and goodness gracious, the pariahs as well. So we try to ignore them. The focus is on the go-to's.

Leaders always go to the go-to's first. The ones who go above and beyond. Work early and work late. The ones who get things done, who help grow the business, who own the knowledge capital of your organization.

The bottlenecks.

Wait, what? Yes, the bottlenecks. The ones who slow down the crazy-fast, but not in a good way.

The go-to bottlenecks are the top talent we want to retain, but we're jeopardizing the business the way we treat them -- and we'll lose them someday.

There's a ton of chatter about these go-to folks having to do much more with much less and they want to jump ship no matter how cold the water.

And they can. Because you choke them.

What do we do? Unthrottle the go-to bottlenecks.

Oh, and watch out for the --



Post by Kevin W. Grossman (join me on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn - and now join HRmarketer on Twitter!)

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