Raising the level of your leadership




Great Employee Math: 1 X 2 = 3


ChickenEggIn my last post, I reported that the Container Store pays its retail employees twice as much as the national average ($50,000 vs. $25,000) based on “the 1=3 rule…one great employee will be as productive as three employees who are merely good.” (Business Insider, 16 October 2014)

I finished the post with this question:

Are the great employees three times as good because they are paid twice as much, or are they paid twice as much because they are three times as good? (In other words, which came first, the chicken or the egg?)

Here is my answer plus a few other comments. Please feel free to argue with me:

  • Great employees can be recruited with high pay, but it doesn’t create or motivate them, and it won’t retain them long-term.
  • Great employees are largely self-motivated, driven by a personal desire to excel.
  • Great employees bring solutions, not problems.
  • Great employees love to work with other great employees.
  • Great employees will work for a leader, but not a boss (not for long).
  • Great employees are motivated by results, progress, challenges, and appreciation.
  • Great employees want to win and be part of something significant.
  • Great employees really are worth twice as much as good employees.
  • Great leaders know how to lead both great and good employees because you will always have both. (I suspect that not every Container Store employee is great.)

A warning: good employees will not become great by paying them twice as much. You can elevate some good employees to greatness by leading them well, but money alone won’t do it. By the way, when they achieve greatness, pay them twice as much—they’re worth it.

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© Copyright 2014 by Dick Wells, The Hard Lessons Company

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