When you reward mediocrity, or even just tolerate it, you not only stymie the growth of the mediocre individual, you hinder the growth of others in your organization who are aware of it.
Mediocrity is a threat to success; it may be driven by political correctness, some misguided HR policy or just a lack of awareness but whatever the reason, it undercuts your top performers’ efforts.
Fear of confrontation is one of the major reasons for tolerating mediocrity.
If you’re a leader without the courage to confront under-performers you should know that ignoring mediocrity is killing the morale and excellence of your top performers. It kills morale because what you call ignoring your top performers call rewarding. The hard truth is that you’re not helping anything or anyone by avoiding the reality of mediocrity.
You may think that you don’t “reward” mediocre people but for the truly unmotivated, mediocre person no tangible reward is required; simply being allowed to remain mediocre is reward enough. Unchallenged, they can remain mediocre for their entire career. I’ve never seen an organization reach it’s true potential when staffed with even a few mediocre people.
You’re hurting your organization, your team, your staff or whoever it is you’re leading when you allow mediocrity to linger within their ranks. You unconsciously demotivate the motivated and lead them towards mediocrity as well.
Don’t suck the wind from the sails of success by allowing any member of your team to consistently under-perform. If you’re a leader who allows mediocrity to dawdle within your organization then it’s possible that you just might be mediocre yourself.