Dear SaaStr: What do mediocre employees do that the best employees don’t do?

My list of what mediocre employees do:

  • Unable to hit deadlines. This is different than missing a few, with a proper heads-up.
  • Get angry when they fall behind. Instead of quietly stepping up and just getting it done.
  • Refuse to own a quantitative KPI or goal. They don’t want to own a number.
  • Don’t raise their hand when they need help. They just hide it. Often even to themselves.
  • Always “very busy”. The best employees always find a way to help, to take a little more on to help the team.
  • Argue with bosses and other leaders in public. The boss isn’t always right. But understanding someone has to make the call on tough decisions is important.
  • Argue when you ask them to fix something that wasn’t done that well.  The best agree and just go fix it.
  • Push back on doing core parts of their job.  So you end up doing it yourself.
  • Need folks to do all their work for them. More an issue with mediocre managers. They are often unwilling to do any actual work themselves.
  • Hire mediocre folks under them. It’s true. This is the worst part.
  • Hire folks that just do what they are told. Instead of folks that are great.
  • Blame others. It’s never their fault.
  • Gossip. A little is OK, but mediocre employees often become toxic ones, spending too much time on office-related gossip.
  • Claim they did the work that their report or other resource actually did.  The best highlight the team member that did the work.  The mediocre claim they did it themselves, or obscure who actually did it.
  • Threatened by a new great hire. Again, a little of this is OK. But great employees embrace all great hires. Even when there is overlap with their role and path.
  • Take more than 2 hours a week to manage, maximum.  That’s just too much.  More here.
  • Lie. Mediocre employees lie. They just lie. They claim they got the project done, but didn’t. They claim they held the date, but didn’t actually do it. They claim they hit the plan, but they didn’t. The lie sort of works a little, at first, if they are in a position of trust. But then they have to lie more.

Ok sorry that’s a bit more than 10.  I added to the list!

When you see this behavior, just move on.  There’s only more damage to be done by waiting.

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