It’s easy to ignore the B players in your organization. After all, they’re reliable, easy to work with and rarely cause issues. However, you’re doing your company a disservice by not “coaching up” these middle-of-the-road workers.
Understanding the difference between A players and B players is important, but what is even more important is knowing how to turn your B players into A players. After all, your business’s most valuable assets are time and money. Why waste the two on hiring new employees year after year. By nurturing your B players to become A’s you show that you’re willing to invest in their growth, making them want to stick around for the long term.
The Difference Between A and B players
To begin let’s go over the difference between the two. Simply put, A players are your stars. Companies actively recruit them and consider it a victory when they are able to hire them because these types of employees usually have options in the job market. A players don’t need help improving. They tend to be self-motivated and don’t require a ton of teaching or guidance. The catch with A players is that they can be elusive. If they are at your company and feel that it is no longer a challenge and new opportunity is lacking, they will likely move on to something bigger and better.
B players on the other hand are strong and steady. They won’t necessarily have the self-motivation or the desire to outperform like A players, but they are reliable and get the job done. They follow up on commitments and meet deadlines, all without issue. In many ways they can be described as “under the radar.” They’re not being noticed for their shortcomings nor their amazing work. This can lead to their not getting too much attention from management; therefore, their potential can go untapped. Management’s attention easily slips to the A players because they’re outgoing and easy to communicate with, or to C or D players because they may be causing issues that constantly need attention.
So how can you change this and give your B players the chance to turn into A’s?
Turning B players to A players
Simply put, B players need more attention to turn into A’s. Rather than letting them fly under the radar, have meetings with them in your office every two weeks or take them to lunch occasionally. In your conversations talk about their goals and what they want to accomplish, always reemphasize their strengths and talk about ways they can improve on their weaknesses. You can also offer to send them to conferences or any training sessions they want to attend.
You can waste your time by giving too much attention to A, C, and D players because all of these players are elusive. The A’s are likely to move on at any time to pursue what they perceive as a better opportunity while C and D players may just not have what it takes, making their stay at your company limited. Avoid looking at the B players as “steady eddy’s” who won’t be leaving any time soon. Invest time and energy into them to see what they want out of their job and career. The last thing you want is not be aware of these things only to have them blindside you with their two weeks notice.