Autumn. Quite arguably the most beautiful time of the year in the Midwest. The temps are cooler and comfortable, and those leaves – at their peak they are undeniably breathtaking.
This time of year is not only picturesque, it can offer an opportunity for change. Leaves change from greens to vibrant reds, oranges and yellows. Some trees look like they are actually glowing, that they couldn’t possibly be real, yet they are.
But then the leaves begin to fall to the ground and change to more muted colors, reminding us that even more change is on the horizon.
This has us thinking about change at work when it comes to employee engagement and development. We have the vibrant workers, the bright ones who light up the room, who give it their all and are a pleasure to work with. Developing these people is gratifying and fulfilling, much like taking in the autumn views.
Then there are the employees who resemble the leaves floating to the ground. Not as stunning as some of the others, maybe a little off, but still part of the big picture. These workers take more effort to develop and engage, more time and more steps, but ultimately, they are part of the pile.
What about those leaves who are past their prime? The ones barely hanging on to the trees or scattered on the ground, devoid of color, listless and, well, kind of sad. Unfortunately, the workplace knows employees like this as well. These are the people who take a ton of work to develop to get them somewhat engaged to do their jobs.
What should you do? Is it better to have warm bodies in positions that will most likely never have the “wow” factor at work? Is it worth the time, effort and training to get these folks operating at a better measure?
This is where the change part comes in. Maybe it’s time to have an honest conversation with your employees who just aren’t showing their best colors. Chances are they aren’t super happy… but could be in a different role inside (or outside) your organization.
Just like it can be difficult to see the change after autumn’s peak, changing it up at work can be challenging. But, also worthwhile, like a drive through the country on a sunny afternoon looking at those beautiful fall colors.