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Managing mega-stars in the workplace

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HC Online | 01 Feb 2016, 09:47 AM Agree 0
How should HR manage high-performing individuals with less-than-desirable behaviours?
  • Bernie Althofer | 01 Feb 2016, 08:28 PM Agree 0
    It seems to me that whilst public and private sector organisations do have various policies e.g. Codes of Conduct etc that specify how people should be treated in the workplace, and there appears to be a push to increase HR involvement in dealing with various counterproductive workplace behaviours, managers and supervisors at all levels play a pivotal role in preventing, detecting, reporting and resolving such behaviours.

    It seems that the 'mega-stars' are accepted and even rewarded as achievers of organisational goals and even getting financial results. For some reason or other, these 'mega-stars' seem to be managed under a different set of rules, particularly when it comes to performance management. On one hand they are rewarded well for the results they achieve, and yet the collateral damage they cause to others goes unpunished. In a number of other discussion groups, it has been suggested that some of these 'mega-stars' are 'protected' and can almost do no wrong.

    Unfortunately, it seems that in some cases 'everyone knows' about the behaviours, and yet, managers and supervisors allow those behaviours to continue. In some cases, the manager or supervisor may be unwilling to do anything because to do so will have an impact on their own career. In other cases, there may be a perception that if a manager or supervisor of a 'mega-star' does try and address the behaviours, a complaint will be made by the 'mega-star' that they are being targeted e.g. bullied, when in reality, what is really happening is that the manager is trying to apply organisational standards governing behaviour in a consistent and fair way.

    It might be the case that a 'mega-star' forges strong alliances so that any criticisms made of them or their behaviour, appear as criticisms of their alliances.

    By all means, HR needs to have key role, but in my view, line managers and supervisors need to understand that everyone in an organisation is required to adhere to standards. When exceptions are made, HR invariably find themselves involved in the resolution processes.
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