Why You Should Focus on Your B-Players

Employee recognition should be a staple in your workplace culture. Most companies implement some type of “employee of the month” award or give incentives to employees who make the most sales in a quarter. Most employee recognition programs are designed to reward ‘Superstar’ employees who outperform others,  but what is that doing to motivate your entire team? While not everyone in your workplace is a star performer, they are all deserving of recognition. Here are some reasons why you should be taking the time to reward your B-Players.

They Have Potential

B-Player employees play a huge part in a company’s success. They know and understand your company. They’ve been through your company’s training and onboarding program. They are just as skilled as you’re A-Team. Sure, they work a little slower, but B-Players are full of untapped potential.

They work with just a little direction and deliver high quality work when given the proper motivation. Managers should try to understand B-Player’s thought process and find creative ways to engage and encourage them towards success based on their personality.  Were they on the right track? What tripped them up? Did they hesitate at the right moments, even if they didn’t know quite how to proceed? Discover ways to motivate B-Player employees through every step of their process. Tap into their potential and help them to succeed. When they’ve completed a challenge, recognize them the same as you would a higher performer and pretty soon, they may even start to exceed the A-Team.

They Don’t Get Discouraged

It can be difficult standing in the shadow of higher-performing co-workers. Your B-Team employees have been sitting at the feet of greatness for years and are likely feeling a little overcast. In some cases, they might even feel like outcasts. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t still trying. Their work processes and learning styles are a little different, but they keep working. As a manager, it is your job to create a work culture that is comfortable and happy for all of your employees. It’s important that you take notice to B-Team employers who may be feeling a little lackluster and build them up in a way that feels inclusive and encouraging.

B-Players are not complacent. They want to know how to improve. They want to know what they are doing right and what they are doing wrong and how to fix it. Managers should pay attention to this desire for improvement and recognize employees for their efforts to learn more. Reward them for their ambition. They will work harder and show even more dedication to getting the job done when they know their work is appreciated.

They Could Leave You

They may not garner the most revenue or the biggest clients, but not providing enough recognition for your B-Players could result in turnover for your company. Employees who feel undervalued are those who are most likely to seek other employment opportunities. B-Player employees want to feel like they are just as much a part of the company’s success as other, top-performing employees. You already know that they have the potential to bring your company the desired results. Not fostering improvement or recognizing them for their strengths could cause B-Players to search out more fulfilling jobs.

Leaders must first accept that not everyone is like-minded. Think about why you consider certain employees to be B-Players. Psychological studies confirm that we’re tougher on people who differ from us than on those we identify with. Since most leaders are themselves highly motivated A-Players, they tend to undervalue B-Players who have a different worldview. Are there employees in your company deserving of recognition but have been passed over simply because they don’t stand out as ‘Superstars?’

If you are undervaluing the performance of certain types of employees, consider restructuring your recognition program. Employees who see that you are actively concerned about their progress and feel appreciated for their efforts are more likely to be happy in their job roles. Not sure how to make them feel appreciated? Just ask them. They won’t mind giving you feedback and helping you learn more about how they want to be recognized. In fact, they’ll thank you for taking the time to find ways to make your employee recognition program more inclusive.

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