Although large, established corporations can enjoy the flexibility of creating narrowly defined work role expectations smaller companies and startups often need new hires to go above and beyond even inside narrowly defined roles. Kara Goldin, Forbes contributor offers some insight to determine if you have hired a clock puncher or a superstar, below.
The Clock Punchers
While at first, you might assume that this group of employees holds no value to your startup ecosystem, the truth is that this group is the mortar that holds up the wall. While there tends to be higher turnover with pure clock punchers, they do provide value by completing tasks assigned with little question. These are employees who show up, do as instructed and leave when the clock strikes five. Often they perform at average levels, some striving for higher rewards, some just performing at the most basic requirements. I find that these employees eventually move on, or are moved out of the organization as they often lack the vision and creativity needed to contribute any more than what’s listed in their job description.
This group consists of constant conundrums. While it contains many employees who feel like standard clock punchers, often the employees that need a little push are hiding out here. They can follow instructions and follow them well, but they are still on the outskirts of becoming true strategists. There are big thinkers here, but there is a fear holding them back. As a leader, you must be able to find the employees in this group that are ready for the next challenge. Can they go above and beyond? Can they exhibit a strong sense of creativity and expression? Can they manage? Or are they going to remain in this group forever, content to just float and collect a paycheck? Startups can’t afford to have too many employees in the middle, and it’s your job as a leader to determine who is ready to move on to the next group.
Like the previous two groups, I find that your true superstar employees will perform the tasks assigned to them and more, but you can always sense a nervous and excited energy within them that begs to be challenged. Here is where you’ve found an employee from the middle who rose to the challenge. Often you’ll end up with superstars after molding one from the rough clay of the middle or sometimes you’ll be lucky enough to hire one. This group is ambitious, ready to roll up their sleeves and get it done. They will develop a plan, manage it up to senior management for approval and get it done. This group moves with creative lightning, never settles on just the basics and always pushes to move themselves and the organization forward. They have the startup mentality rushing through their blood and are ready to put in the same level of love and commitment that you put into building your company.
No matter your company size you need the insight to discover how best to get the maximum output from every employee. Your flexibility, as well as a clear understanding of your personal expectations, can make hiring choices easier and more prosperous for everyone involved.