Once upon a time, there was a hiring manager who always worked with mediocre employees and had never worked with a great employee.
One day a great employee A from another organization decided to work for the organization of the hiring manager.
The hiring manager took a long, hard look at employee A’s resume and said, “Oh my, what funny mediocre employee you are!”
The hiring manager thought employee A was a mediocre employee because s/he had never worked with a great employee but had always worked with many mediocre employees.
“I am not a mediocre employee at all.” said employee A by explaining s/he goes above and beyond the basic expectations.
“Nonsense!” said the hiring manager. “I’ve worked with more mediocre employee than you have years of experience, and I know a mediocre employee when I see one.”
“If you’re so sure that I’m a mediocre employee,” said employee A, “then why do you say I am a funny mediocre employee?”
“Well, just look at the way you communicate,” said the hiring manager. “It’s all so refined. Mediocre employee don’t have good listening or extrapolating skills. And look at all those experiences and qualifications! Mediocre employee don’t have experience and qualifications like that. And look at the way you dress! It’s too refined and needs to come back to reality. Mediocre employees don’t dress nicely like that.”
And before employee A could reply, the hiring manager hired the great employee. The hiring manager informed employee A that s/he doesn’t need to showcase/use their experience and skillsets in this position. The hiring manager informed employee A how s/he should communicate in the organization. And the hiring manager made the great employee go for an organizational orientation which emphasized organizational values and dressing sharp was not one of them.
As soon as the hiring manager was finished with the demands, it was lunchtime. So employee A met up with another great employee B from another organization.
“Well, well,” said employee B. “Aren’t you a funny great employee!”
“Well, at least you know I’m a great employee,” said employee A. “Thank goodness for that!”
“What happened to you?” asked employee B.
“Well,” said employee A, “A hiring manager thought I was a mediocre employee. And since mediocre employee don’t go above and beyond the basic expectations, s/he asked me to do the same. And since mediocre employee don’t have good communication skills, I was asked to communicate how the rest of the organization communicates. And since mediocre employee don’t dress sharp, I was asked to conform to the dress code of the organization.”
“The hiring manager must be very foolish, indeed,” said employee B. And with that, employee B told employee A about an organization where hiring managers used rewards and incentives and appreciated (1) how you communicate, (2) how you use your experiences and qualifications to go above and beyond and (3) how you dress.”
“Also remember this”, employee B continued, “there are a lot silly hiring managers in the world who think that mediocre employees are great employees, or that great employees and mediocre employees, or that all sorts of things are like other things without understanding context/nuance and are unable to extrapolate beyond the immediate needs. And when they are silly like that, they do very foolish things. We must be sure to stay away for that hiring manager and other hiring manager like her/him.”
What do you think happened next? Did employee A leave the organization or remain in the organization to be forced to become mediocre.