Should employers worry about ‘ok’ performance? Should employees?

I think so – here’s why…

The affects of the two sides shown in the illustration above will be highly visible to wider teams and management for very different reasons.

The red zone – not performing well. A plethora of potential reasons will manifest as low performance. Lack of training. Disconnection within the team/management. Lack of a feeling of belonging and so on. Employers will notice the performance and have choices on what to do about that. Hopefully, any planned intervention includes communication, exploration and agreement with the employee.

The green zone – performing well. When this become expected, it can often be taken for granted. This in turn can lead to churn as the employee feels undervalued. If employers are aware of the potential of taking great performers for granted – they can ensure they don’t! Valuing great performance every time, is empowering and creates a connection of belonging.

What can often go unnoticed is the middle section.

This may be the largest group of employees in some organisations. ‘OK’ performance – acceptable, could be great. Why aren’t employees in this section striving to be the best they can? Multiple reasons which can include feeling undervalued, isolated, not respected and so on. As the performance is acceptable, employers could miss the opportunity to increase performance through communication, training, empowerment, responsibility, respect, inclusion and so on.

An employer can deliver training for their core business operations but can sometimes be blinkered on the power of wellbeing and emotional intelligence training which can empower the whole employee.

Let’s consider the humble kettle. At 211 degrees we have hot water but just one degree increase gives us steam! Used across diverse industries from food, beverage, wood production, sterilisation, pharmaceutical, chemical reactions and so much more.

How awesome will organisations and ALL of their staff be if empowerment training is rolled out?

What could employers consider in this area?

  • Emotional Intelligence Culture Index – see where departments are in 10 key areas
  • Emotional Intelligence Assessments – see where the gaps are for individuals then close the gaps with coaching
  • Accredited Managing and Promoting Positive Mental Health and Wellbeing – self proactive and ‘first responder’ tools
  • Accredited Understanding and Promoting Positive Mental Health and Wellbeing – for non-managers
  • Basic emotional intelligence – how we show up matters
  • Make better connections
  • Know your conflict style – and manage it
  • Components of good conversations
  • Overcoming procrastination to act
  • Building self empowerment

How much more productive is a flourishing team to the business compared to one that is not?

Is your business Psychosocially ready?

Refreshing to see ISO (International Standards Organisation) have recognised the need to put mental and psychological health front and centre of business. The terms are interchangeable. For clarity, global agreement has been reached by ISO to use the term ‘psychosocial’ which you will see more and more over the coming months.

ISO’s new certification due for launch later this year – ISO45003 – is designed for businesses to ensure their workplaces are psychosocially healthy and is especially attractive to businesses already holding ISO45001.

Having read the advanced final framework of ISO45003 – ‘Occupational health and safety management – psychological health and safety at work – guidelines for managing psychological risks’ – it is clear any business, even micro, businesses can use ISO45003’s guidelines as a framework without applying for accreditation.

Throughout the global pandemic, businesses have risen to diverse challenges. Some have flourished without making many changes such as the logistics and IT sectors. Others have embraced agile working remotely. Some will return in full to their workplaces whilst others will have a blended mix.

One thing is certain for all. The need to ensure their workplaces and teams are psychosocially safe and robust is critical for their staff, profits and reputation to flourish.

Now is the time to put tools in place to aid this.

Growing Talent is a strong tool for employers looking for new talent in their business. The programme has a solid track history of revealing untapped talent, delivering diversity and inclusion to the business as well as personal empowerment and growth to that talent.

Growing Talent covers many of the areas highlights in ISO45003 – see below.

Recruiting through Growing Talent gets employers ahead of the game when it comes to the psychosocial health of their workplaces.

Why not at Growing Talent to your recruitment tool box?

Disclose or not disclose?

I attended an event last night hosted by a global organisation  with some prestigious speakers – Dr Christian from Embarrassing Bodies, Kate Nash – Disability Inclusion Consultant and Hugh Milroy – CEO of Veterans Aid.


There was an interesting discussion on what disclosure meant, why employers request it and how individuals feel about it.  The audience shared some personal experiences.   I was expecting more insight into starting those uncomfortable conversations either as a manger or as an employee to a manager.   Some ideas to make such conversations easier and some signposting for both parties.  Instead the focus was more on why employers seek ‘disclosure’.


One of the speakers mentioned it was about ensuring their organisation reaches the most diverse audience possible when it comes to hiring their talent.


But what happens when life throws curve balls after you’ve hired someone?  How do you help and support them, ensuring their talent stays in your business?  Surely ‘disclosure’ at the point of hire is missing the point.  It’s endorsing the perception of some that this is a ‘tick in the box’ exercise even if this was not the intention.


I wonder how many in the audience felt this was a missed opportunity.  There was no conclusion on how to start a conversation on ‘disclosure’ or support signposting if something traumatic is shared.  There was no conversation around the potential support needed by the individual hearing the experience.  There is a lot of good examples of excellent work culture and change being driven by exec boards.  Is it enough to say ‘I am champion of …… group’? or ‘I am an exec board member and I have depression’?  How many young graduates would feel they could approach such people who have already reached seniority and are probably significantly more financially settled than they would be?  Role models only work if people can relate to them.


Change of culture and leadership starts with us all.  It’s nothing to do with hierachy.  Exec boards are essential in driving the change in culture by ensuring the resources are available and known to all staff.  This would be a much better way of ensuring change was delivered and give a better chance of people ‘disclosing’ or sharing their personal experiences.


Would it be better to?:

1)     Treat people with dignity and respect, be mindful of our body language and tone of voice

2)     Ensure people understand they have ‘control’ of what happens next if they share what they are experiencing and that the conversation will                      remain confidential – unless of course, threat to life exists – there is never confidentiality where this is present.

3)     Make every team meeting end with a non-minuted discussion on a life issue – starting with the Team Leader

4)     Train people in Mental Health First Aid, Counselling etc and advertise these ‘listening ears’ at every refreshment point

5)     Collate all the internal support, every network group etc into one accessible place and advertise where this is.  Do the same for external support.

6)      Make the time to focus on an individual rather than fitting a conversation in around e-mails, meetings etc

7)      Recognise everyone has different levels of resilience to life/work events.

What do you think?