As recruiters, we get to know the managers that we assist with recruitment projects. We will try to spend some time getting to know what their team is like, in order for us to gain insight into the kind of person that will fit in to their existing set up. There are usually a few high-flyers, of course. There’s nearly always a ‘Steady Eddie’. Look around you. Perhaps there is one in your current work place?
Steady Eddie has been with the business since the beginning, or thereabouts. He hasn’t progressed particularly, but he’s regarded by most as a ‘safe pair of hands’. He doesn’t mind helping new starters to learn the ropes. You can trust him to get on with things. He knows the business inside out. He delivers pretty consistently, probably without ever really challenging the status quo.
A good manager will understand the value of having a Steady Eddie in their team.
Some of the team members get frustrated by Steady Eddie. They are annoyed by his apparent lack of ambition. Why on earth would someone want to do the same job, day in, day out, without any snifter of progression? Is Steady Eddie just lazy? Unmotivated? Shouldn’t the boss be giving him a kick up the backside?
Steady Eddie starts to feel the pressure. The only progression available to him within the business is to move into sales, or become a manager. He’s been resisting both of these things for years, because he isn’t comfortable with either. He knows he can continue to add value in the job he does now, but he’s starting to feel pushed out by more ambitious types that have made their feelings clear that there is no place for him in the team.
One day Steady Eddie’s manager announces she is moving on. She quietly takes Steady Eddie aside, and explains that she believes she can create a position for him in the business she is joining, doing exactly the role he does now. A month later, Steady Eddie resigns.
Steady Eddie’s colleagues are flabbergasted. No one thought Steady Eddie would leave. Still, at least now they can replace him with a vibrant young go-getter. Someone with ambition that will question the status quo.
They recruit someone. He’s really dynamic. Did I say dynamic? He’s annoying. Very, very annoying. He’s always challenging the status quo, he’s disruptive, and he never seems to shut up. It’s not clear whether he is actually doing any work.
I wonder if any of his colleagues would admit that Eddie wasn’t so bad, in hindsight.
We can’t be expected to get along with all our colleagues all the time, and as humans we sometimes struggle to relate to characters that are quite different from ourselves. The things that motivate us can often divide us – someone who is motivated by career progression might struggle to relate to someone that is motivated by a friendly and social working environment, or job stability, or someone that simply wants to innovate.
As well as assisting our clients through the recruitment process, our service offering includes access to Thomas International Personality Profile Analysis, and Motivational Maps. These tools help us to understand and manage compatibility within a team, as well as identifying the kind of individual that will be a good fit when your team grows. By understanding individuals’ behaviour and motivation, you can build a harmonious working environment, and you can use these tools during performance reviews to ensure you are keeping your team members happy and motivated.
Steady Eddie was a loyal, consistent team member, who loved his job and knew the business inside out – he was a stabilising force within the team. Had his employers sought extra insight into his behaviour and motivation, they could have worked with him to create a plan that made the most of his skills, mentoring new starters, utilising his business knowledge, and continuing to do the work that he enjoyed. If you have a whole team of people all wanting to be managers, inevitably you’re going to have rivalry, and departures, and consequently turnover.
In short, you’ll wish you’d treated Steady Eddie a bit better.
To find out how Thomas International assessments and Motivational Maps can help you with recruitment and retention, call Blues Point on 01283 530923 or take a look at our website www.bluespoint.net