Talented employees face challenges in the workplace. Much of these stem from groups being the natural enemy of the individual. That means the person is far more likely to conform to the group than the group to the person. Therefore, it’s the individual who must sacrifice.
Top Challenges Talented Employees Face
These sacrifices will show up as these top challenges for talented employees:
- Exclusion from the group’s social activities
- Negative feedback reported to bosses from coworkers
- Rules and tools that retard their talents
- Wrongful connection by bosses between results and talent
- Managers lacking skills managing diverse workforces
The main driver behind these challenges is this: talented employees differ from the group.
Talented Employees Differ From The Group
From our youngest years, we learn to group things by what makes them the same . . . not what makes them different. By definition, talent stands out. It’s different. Therefore, if it’s different it’s not part of the group.
A couple forces work to enforce group norms. First, there’s homophily. People gravitate to those who are like them. Second, people naturally compare themselves to others. That means they need to do something when that comparison does not look good.
The first force causes people to exclude talented employees. They won’t invite them to lunch or after work activities. The second causes them to take adverse actions toward them. It could be as simple as complaining to the boss. “She’s not a team player. She does it her way not the company way.”
Groups Treat Talent Like Everyone Else
The norms and rules of the workplace give weight to these forces. Talented employees must accept being treated like everyone else. This retards the development of talent. It can destroy it too.
Again, it’s because a workforce is a group. To function, it must organize around expectations all can meet. Too high, the employer won’t find enough employees or must pay more to attract them.
As a result, talented employees will work under lower expectations. Yes, this might allow them to blow past goals, but look past these. Look at such things as electronics, tools, supplies and facilities, everyday things. All get the same unless the job, not the talent, warrants it.
Tension Between Groups And Individuals Create Challenges
Ask any company about hiring. Its top goal isn’t to find the best talent. It’s to find employees that are a good fit. Thus, if a talented employee wants to work for them, he must conform to the group. The group won’t conform to him.
In other words, the workplace for the talented employee is like kindergarten all over again. Group what’s the same. Leave out what’s not.