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Worker Performance Most Are Below Mediocre?

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I'm sure I read an article recently which stated the majority of workers don't even perform at a mediocre level and only a few workers ever excel. However I'll be buggered if I can find what I read, that's if I didn't dream it.

Anyone got any ideas what I may or may not have read?

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I'm sure I read an article recently which stated the majority of workers don't even perform at a mediocre level and only a few workers ever excel. However I'll be buggered if I can find what I read, that's if I didn't dream it.

Anyone got any ideas what I may or may not have read?

Surely most people will perform at a mediocre level by definition.

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I'm sure I read an article recently which stated the majority of workers don't even perform at a mediocre level and only a few workers ever excel. However I'll be buggered if I can find what I read, that's if I didn't dream it.

Anyone got any ideas what I may or may not have read?

Depends on the job, and what you are measuring, I expect.

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Surely most people will perform at a mediocre level by definition.

I thought it means below average ? Or maybe not.

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Probably not this as its from 1998

http://hbr.org/1998/03/the-set-up-to-fail-syndrome/ar/1

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Very difficult with some jobs - take 2 people doing an IT job, one knows how to automate 90% of the processes, the other hasn't a clue and always looks busy.

Who is the more productive worker?

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I thought it means below average ? Or maybe not.

I thought it meant average but has gained negative connotations (in the same way as saying "your performance was very average" has).

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I'm sure I read an article recently which stated the majority of workers don't even perform at a mediocre level and only a few workers ever excel. However I'll be buggered if I can find what I read, that's if I didn't dream it.

Anyone got any ideas what I may or may not have read?

Originally looked at by that time and motion study guy at the turn of the century, Fred Taylor. "Soldiering", is what he called it. He observed that the vast majority of employees only did just enough work to avoid punishment.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frederick_Winslow_Taylor

Early on at Midvale, working as a laborer and machinist, Taylor recognized that workmen were not working their machines, or themselves, nearly as hard as they could (which at the time was called "soldiering") and that this resulted in high labor costs for the company. When he became a foreman he expected more output from the workmen and in order to determine how much work should properly be expected he began to study and analyze the productivity of both the men and the machines (although the word "productivity" was not used at the time, and the applied science of productivity had not yet been developed). His focus on the human component of production eventually became Scientific Management, while the focus on the machine component led to his famous metal-cutting and materials innovations.

Sounds like a complete ar5e incidentally. ;) Shows how ironic communism is given the communists extolled this guy, when he comes across as the ultimate misery inducing pointy haired boss.

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I'm sure I read an article recently which stated the majority of workers don't even perform at a mediocre level and only a few workers ever excel. However I'll be buggered if I can find what I read, that's if I didn't dream it.

Anyone got any ideas what I may or may not have read?

Wasn't it in the recent IBM thread on here? Don't know if there was a citation for it.

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Very difficult with some jobs - take 2 people doing an IT job, one knows how to automate 90% of the processes, the other hasn't a clue and always looks busy.

Who is the more productive worker?

Right now, the competent one.

But the brown-noser will eventually get promoted and, having sat next to you for five years doing sweet-FA, he will know all of your strengths.

More importantly, he'll have knowledge of your weaknesses, and over the years will have worked out exactly how to push all your buttons.

Once in charge, he will use this aquired knowledge to mind-fück you into producing three times your current output, and claim all the credit for these increases in productivity.

Oh, and a nice chunk of the money that you - and YOU alone - have earned the company will end up in his trouser-pocket instead of yours...!

Beware the Brown-noser, my son!

The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!

Beware the management bird, and shun

The frumious Snatchofwealth!

XYY

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Yes I may well have read it on here. Any idea what the gist of the thread was?

It was called the hollowing out of IBM but I had a quick look and I couldnt see that comment. I have read the comment on here recently though.

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Right now, the competent one.

But the brown-noser will eventually get promoted and, having sat next to you for five years doing sweet-FA, he will know all of your strengths.

More importantly, he'll have knowledge of your weaknesses, and over the years will have worked out exactly how to push all your buttons.

Once in charge, he will use this aquired knowledge to mind-fück you into producing three times your current output, and claim all the credit for these increases in productivity.

Oh, and a nice chunk of the money that you - and YOU alone - have earned the company will end up in his trouser-pocket instead of yours...!

Beware the Brown-noser, my son!

The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!

Beware the management bird, and shun

The frumious Snatchofwealth!

XYY

That is why it is always a good ideas to keep a copy of Guns and Ammo on your desk, turn up late occasionally because 'you had to renew your shot gun license' and go home early because you 'don't want to keep your anger management counsellor waiting'.

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States from antiquity have nearly always been largely about tax farming and most wars between them have been arguments over territories and populations that can be taxed.

In addition taxes have historically been a mechanism for taking wealth from the many and giving to the few. In fact the exact opposite of what the o/p article claims

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That is why it is always a good ideas to keep a copy of Guns and Ammo on your desk, turn up late occasionally because 'you had to renew your shot gun license' and go home early because you 'don't want to keep your anger management counsellor waiting'.

Your anger management counsellor gets angry when you're a bit late? :huh:

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States from antiquity have nearly always been largely about tax farming and most wars between them have been arguments over territories and populations that can be taxed.

In addition taxes have historically been a mechanism for taking wealth from the many and giving to the few. In fact the exact opposite of what the o/p article claims

Not quite sure what the tax system has to do with this?

The point I read was that most people just turn up do the bare minimum and bugger off home, the people who excel and go above and beyond are few and far between.

Taking it literally huge numbers might be out of a job if everyone performed at optimal level.

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The point I read was that most people just turn up do the bare minimum and bugger off home, the people who excel and go above and beyond are few and far between.

And that is therefore reflected in the value of labour (to a degree, since usefulness often only seems to have a very vague relationship to pay). If that's what most people are doing then that's what you should know you're getting when you're paying someone X to do job Y. Anyone working harder than that is just doing more than they're being paid to do.

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http://hbr.org/1998/03/the-set-up-to-fail-syndrome/ar/1

The Set-Up-To-Fail Syndrome

When an employee fails—or even just performs poorly—managers typically do not blame themselves. The employee doesn’t understand the work, a manager might contend. Or the employee isn’t driven to succeed, can’t set priorities, or won’t take direction. Whatever the reason, the problem is assumed to be the employee’s fault—and the employee’s responsibility.

But is it? Sometimes, of course, the answer is yes. Some employees are not up to their assigned tasks and never will be, for lack of knowledge, skill, or simple desire. But sometimes—and we would venture to say often—an employee’s poor performance can be blamed largely on his boss.

Perhaps “blamed” is too strong a word, but it is directionally correct. In fact, our research strongly suggests that bosses—albeit accidentally and usually with the best intentions—are often complicit in an employee’s lack of success. (See the insert “About the Research.”) How? By creating and reinforcing a dynamic that essentially sets up perceived underperformers to fail. If the Pygmalion effect describes the dynamic in which an individual lives up to great expectations, the set-up-to-fail syndrome explains the opposite. It describes a dynamic in which employees perceived to be mediocre or weak performers live down to the low expectations their managers have for them. The result is that they often end up leaving the organization—either of their own volition or not.

Found this but it's still not quite what I read.

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