How to Identify Your 80 Percent - Part 1

How to Identify Your 80 Percent – Part 1

How to Identify Your Team's 80 Percent &

How You Can Empower Them

Part 1

For the purposes of this article and this website, the “80 Percent” is used as established in this article.

You want to identify your team's eighty percent because they're not only the heart of your organization but they're also the largest part. I believe that if you can empower your eighty percent, and improve their productivity and dedication, you can bring significant and positive change to your team. Every team, company, organization and group follows the same bell curve structure with those on the left, those on the right and the majority in the middle.

Image: anankkml /

This is the law of averages; let me explain. In politics, you have the liberals on the left, the republicans on the right and the moderates in the middle. In education, on one end you have the 4.0 students and those graduating with honors, on the other you have those who are going to fail out and have to come back, and then the ones in the middle who have to work harder than anyone.

Think about your friends. You have a few very close “best” friends who are the most trusted, a few with whom you're merely acquainted, and in between are all the people you know, enjoy hanging out with and with whom you are sociable. This bell-curve of life is everywhere and it's something we have to expect, prepare for and work through. In your organization, if you haven't already determined where everyone falls, perhaps it may be time to take that step.

So, how do you identify your organization's eighty percent? I've outlined a few ideas on the subject and invite you to share some of your thoughts and your methods in the comment section at the bottom.

The Bottom 10%:

Identifying this group early is important because they have the potential to hold your team back and create issues with ripple effects. Identifying the bottom ten percent of your organization is the easiest, partly due to them often being obvious; they're either screaming out their negativity or they're trying to hide it.  The bottom ten percent of your organization is possibly broken into halves; the half with the obvious bad attitudes and the half that is trying to squeak by under the radar.

You need to handle the bad attitudes fast. Just as the rotten apple spoils the barrel, these people can ruin the culture and atmosphere of an otherwise positive group. Their negativity can spread like wildfire.

How you work with the bottom ten percent is up to you but here are a few thoughts. If they're vocal about their dissatisfaction, it may be time to encourage them to look for other opportunities outside of your organization or simply let them go. Alternatively, some of these individuals could have a genuine complaint and by simply listening to them, letting them express their difficulties and allowing them to be heard, you can move them out of the bottom ten percent and into the more positive and productive parts of your organization.

Additionally, the other half of the bottom ten percent are those that are simply hanging on until they're either dismissed from the organization or they already have one foot out the door. While they're less likely to “spoil the barrel”, their negativity can spread to others. You can work with them as well, they just have to be handled differently.

How to Identify Your Team's 80 Percent and How You Can Empower Them
Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3

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