In sports there are constraints that make spending time on the bench a natural part of the game. For example, in basketball only 5 players can be on the court at a time and in football only 11. With more players on the team roster than playing positions, deciding who gets in to the game is a matter of strategy.
At work however, it’s a matter of choice and your high performers probably know it.
Why should you care?
If you’re not actively working to bring out the best in everyone on your team, then your team isn’t living up to its potential. If your team isn’t living up to its potential, then everyone’s work is suffering needlessly. And, if everyone’s work is suffering needlessly, your high performers will be the first to get frustrated knowing that they could have helped if given the chance.
What can you do?
Give them a heads up:
Maybe you kept them off that big project to have them ready for another project in the pipeline. Maybe you want them to develop a skill before getting them involved in something they may not be ready for. Maybe it was simply someone else’s turn to grown. Maybe it’s one of a thousand other reasons…
Whatever your reason, TELL THEM. Sit down with your high performer and let them know where they stand. They’ll appreciate it, and you’ll avoid things getting weird down the line.
You could make the choice to get them in to the game.
Photo Credit: By Matthew Addie (Flickr: P1000218) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons