The lower 20%...

The lower 20%...

 
I remember my father telling me years ago an important lesson in managing people in operations - the lowest performing 20% of your staff are where you, as a manager, are going to see your best results.
 
Focusing your time on high performing staff is often a tendency as these are your ‘go-to’ people who get things done. However, your job as a manager is to get the best results from your team. Your entire team. If at the end of the year you have given a lot of your attention to high performing staff you may have only taken someone who is a 9 out of 10 to a 9.5 out of 10 in terms of productivity, sales, or whatever it is you are managing. Conversely, if you spent more time (a lot more time!) managing your lower performing employees, you could have turned a 5 out of 10 employee into an 8 out of 10. Makes sense, right?
 
My question for the site is, does this operations management logic also apply to project management? Compared to an operational management role, a project manager has goals to accomplish in shorter time frames and through relationships with team members that are less permanent. Under these conditions on a project, then, what do you do with your lower 20%?