Everyone wants to work with superstar employees. While it is human nature to want the best, championing only your top “A Players” can lead to problems with employee retention rates, and lead your company in the wrong direction.
Recently, scholars and scientists have shed light on the importance of the supporting actors, otherwise known as the underrated “B Players”. But what is a “B Player”, when are they most useful, and what do they need to reach their full potential?
This blog post will help you appreciate the “B Players” in your workplace, and provide the most effective workforce development methods to keep all of your employees happy.
The Importance of Middle-Skill Jobs
What is an “A Player”? “A Players” are a company’s star performers. They are the kind of employees who put their professional life above everything else, go above and beyond in every task, and are constantly motivated to move upwards in the workplace.
Some traits of a typical “A Player” include a willingness to take risks, impeccable social skills, and an extroverted nature. Keep in mind that since these employees are in such high demand, they are also the players most likely to leave a company for other opportunities. This is where we look to our “B players”.
What is a “B Player”? “B Players” are often underappreciated, but in reality, they are a crucial part of any business. In the Harvard Business Review article Let’s Hear It for the B Players, it is said that “B Players” make up 80% of the American workforce.
Unlike “A Players”, “B Players” strive for a balance between life and their profession, while still completing the majority of the work in an organization. “B Players” are consistent, get the job done without drawing attention to themselves, and are more loyal to their company.
So how do we increase employee engagement with our “B Players”, and make them feel like the essential stakeholders they truly are?
How To Appreciate Middle-Skill Workers
Remember The Team– Successful workforce development strategies begin with the desire to connect with your coworkers. If you’re an “A Player”, look outside of yourself and embrace a new team-oriented learning philosophy.
To stay constantly connected to your “B Players”, ask them what they want from their careers, and use your position of power to help them gain access to more resources and opportunities in the workplace.
Trust Them With Challenging Projects: When a “B Player” performs well in a project, keep the momentum going by assigning them a slightly more challenging or engaging task. When given a special assignment, the “B Player” will feel more appreciated, and their own unique skill set will be put to use.
For example, ask your “B Player” to take on a project that is usually reserved for an essential stakeholder, and offer them guidance along the way.
“B Player” Focused Professional Development
Reward With Prizes: Studies show that more than 70% of workers get motivated to produce their best work when their higher authorities actively appreciate the efforts they put in. While it is true that “B Players” are promoted relatively infrequently, oftentimes recognition is just as rewarding as increased pay.
Take an old-school, cost-effective approach, and send your employees some handwritten notes of appreciation. When your “B Players” feel valued, their moods, and in turn their work, will improve.
Champion the Introverts: Studies show that 96 percent of managers identify as extroverts. However, this does not mean that extroverts are more effective leaders. While extroverted “A Players” often have the charisma and assertiveness to engage more passive followers, they also run the risk of monopolizing power in the workplace and therefore losing the interest of more proactive employees.
Introverts, on the other hand, tend to listen more carefully to their coworkers and observe their surroundings before making a decision. These traits attract other proactive employees and lead to more creative discussions and solutions.
Learning Philosophy For A Better Workplace
We can’t all be stars but that’s not a bad thing! Giving your “B Players” the attention and respect they deserve will boost morale, improve employee retention rates, and ultimately lead to a stronger workforce.
How have you engaged your “B Players” in the workplace? What has this learning experience been like? Share your thoughts with us here at WeLearn! Together we will help your business thrive, and most importantly, together we will learn.