Poor managers shift the bulk of the work to their highest performers while simultaneously doing little or nothing to develop or correct the performance of low performers. This approach can get the job done in the short run. In the long term it burns out your stars, rewards your low performers, and sends a demotivating message to the general population: there are no consequences for poor performance, and the reward for hard work is more hard work.
This dynamic was not as toxic when the economy was booming, and there were more financial rewards for the highest performers.
The economic downturn has left organizations leaner and flatter, with fewer financial rewards and fewer promotions to recognize our increasingly taxed star performers. Top talent is no longer waiting for the employment market to improve to take action.
According to the AP, in April 2010 the number of employees voluntarily leaving their companies outnumbered those who were fired or laid off. This for the first time since the beginning of the recession.
There is going to be a mass exodus of the top performers as the economy starts to turn around,
Now more than ever, it is critical that your managers are managing: managing low performers--developing their skillsets, correcting poor performance and ongoing feedback, while supporting work-life balance for top talent, and boosting initiative among the entire staff.