By Spencer Yarnell, Head of Spreading the Herd Word
People are different. You can’t treat them the same. This is especially true in the workplace. Let me tell a little story about my hearty upbringing to demonstrate.
When I was growing up I used to kick and scream about how I was scolded more frequently than my brother and sister. I used to grumble in high school when I was made to keep a part time job while my brother and sister did no such thing.
To a child and especially a sixteen year-old the injustice must have been nigh unbearable, but looking back I see reason for such oppression. I always was a bit more of an agent of chaos than my siblings and without steady (and often stern guidance) my ‘creative’ pursuits could turn destructive. My parents intelligently realized this and spent far more time and sternness guiding my chaos than with my brother or sister. I like to think I’ve come out better for it.
How does this apply to the workplace? Well in general employers want to make employees better at their jobs so they provide more value. Now in sculpting employees if an employer takes a one size fits all approach clearly it won’t be optimized to help all employees as much as it could.
Here’s the thing the fact is in spite of whatever perceived injustice you can’t treat people the same. As an employer you have to expect and work on different things with an introverted quiet employee as opposed to a loud brash (possibly obnoxious) employee. Understanding this and putting it into practice is key to optimizing an employee’s growth.
One final caveat. I think there’s a large distinction between treating people the same and treating people equally. You can do one without the other.
P.S. In a post last week I mentioned we’d be cleaning on Tuesday. I’d like to take this time to say since it’s a pretty busy payroll week we’ll actually be cleaning on Friday. Thanks for your patience!