One would think that with this prolonged economic crisis, the workplace would measure productivity, cut down on unnecessary labor and be cohesive. In fact, just the opposite is true in the world of business. By and large, rewarding mediocrity is a universal theme in the work place.
A probable cause of this is a by-product of the way we have brought up our children in the last 15 to 20 years in the Age of Political Correctness. We’ve stopped calling “a spade, a spade.” One thing is certain, the Age of Political Correctness is not as great an age as, say, the Age of Enlightenment or the Renaissance.
We weren’t happy with the way our parents brought us up. So we decided we’d bring up our kids differently to make them think they were “special.” Teachers in the modern educational system are forced to give “C” students an “A.” Disciplining a child in the school system is impossible because of the threat of lawsuits. You give the students who are morons an “A” even when they don’t deserve it. The system teaches these children to feel pride in their mediocrity. You have these students entering college or university and continuing to achieve an “A.” Then these morons enter the work place, thinking they are brilliant when they are actually flaming idiots.
What is lost? Excellence in education and in the workplace is lost. Excellence becomes of thing of a by-gone era. You have morons who are doctors, morons who are airline pilots, morons teaching a new generation of our children. Botched surgeries, airplane crashes, trash literature, crap art, poor leadership – think of the possibilities. Gone is excellence, everywhere.
Many people look for work where the primary motivation is benefits and stability. Only a few people look for jobs and are actually employed in jobs that are creative and suit their needs. However, the majority of people go to work doing something they have no love for and gripe about it for the rest of the day. These same individuals do the bare minimum and yet suck up to the boss as if they are the company’s salvation. At the end of the day, both the brilliant and the mediocre workers end up with the same benefits, but the latter also tend to get a lot of accolades from the manager.
Why we have become a nation of “half wit dummies” who accept mediocrity pointblank is a puzzle to me. Granted our system is not ideal, but why reward the baboons all of the time? The fault, it appears, is with the managers. Managers are taught to level the playing field, treat all employees the same, and build up the weakest employees. Equalizing everybody is a difficult or next to impossible task. This can only be achieved by crushing the workers that actually perform. Take any system that attempts to level the playing field, anything such as Stalinism, Communism, Socialism, – whatever “ism” you want, and you’ll find the morons are rewarded and the brilliant are usually crushed.
It seems that in the majority of organizations, managers prefer workers who are submissive, sublime and say “YES” to everything. These workers usually can be relied upon one hundred percent to never find any fault with the leadership or its policies. They are morons, completely incapable of making an observation, evaluating or analyzing. They support all the decisions, be it negative or positive, and will go out of the way to reveal to everyone else how the system has been good to them. Mediocrity generally survives because of mediocrity at the management level. The sad fact is that mediocre employees often shine, while their competent colleagues appear like fools. How can this be so? – The only reason for this is because the mediocre worker knows how to play the “game” better than anyone else. Mediocre workers never change; the system pays them dividends for being lazy and sneaky- so why mess with it! They profit.
Well, mediocrity eventually leads to resentment, apathy and unrest at work among the more brighter colleagues. The biggest fallout for rewarding mediocrity is that it creates instability at work in terms of low employee morale, situations of chronic stress and subsequent illness created by stress for those that are not fooled by what is happening. In the end, the high achievers usually leave for employment elsewhere.
Mediocrity is fact of life in North America. To ensure better productivity, quality and reach those targets, management needs to start appreciating and promoting the achievers. These are the individuals who will always be available when there is trouble and a solution needs to be found and without whose support and efforts, the company may be in a heap of trouble. Trouble is the last place where you will find mediocrity!