The downside of being a good performer 成績優秀者であることのマイナス面





Apart from colleagues, good performers are often targeted by their managers.



  • recognize : [verb] 認める。(なにか)が本当または存在することを認める
  • target : [verb] _を狙う。_を対象とする
  • jealous : [adj] 嫉妬深い、ねたむ。誰かまたは誰かの業績に対して憤慨を感じること
  • disappointment : [noun] 失望。期待に応えることができない
  • capable : [adj] 能力がある、有能な。何かを行う能力


多くの職場では、マネージャーは成績優秀者を認めて、昇給などで報酬を与える。しかし、ミネソタ大学のTheresa Glomb氏とジョージア工科大学のEugene Kim氏によると、成績の良い者または優れた者はひんぱんに同僚の標的になるという。



How do you deal with jealous co-workers? あなたならどうします?

Business English Pro の原文です。是非トライしてみてください!

Most companies have an assortment of low-performing, average-performing, and high-performing employees. This is in spite of recruiting managers and employers striving hard to hire only the creme de la creme of job seeking aspirants in the labor market. Once hired, there are many employees who look great on paper with high-sounding qualifications, but in actual work practice it turns out quite the other way. On the other hand, there is a small group of workers who quietly go about their business and excel at all assignments given to them. Thereby, they distinguish themselves and form a class apart among all workers, both in the eyes of the employer and their colleagues.

However, the spinoff of being in that distinct class of workers is a double-edged sword. While their work makes it easier for them to be in the limelight of things and make rapid advancements in their career and wages, they also become the prime targets for jealous and insecure managers and their less capable coworkers. In some office environments, the negative aspects of being a high-performer outweigh the positive factors, and could even lead to performance depreciation and destruction of the work environment and, ultimately, lower productivity for the company.

There is a tendency among many managers to criticize and bully their subordinates in the workplace. As researches have shown, this attitude develops because the managers feel threatened by high-performing workers. However, a more recent research has established that such antagonistic feelings in the workplace are not only limited to the managers, but also to workers who are jealous of their more capable colleagues.

The distinction among good, average, and high-performing employees is noted by the managers, often resulting in wage hikes and increased prospects of upward mobility for the performers par excellence. Conversely, their outstanding performances often highlight the weaknesses of their colleagues. Feeling affronted, the weak and average performers tend to target the high-performers in office meetings and even ostracize them socially.

This what The Economist calls the “bane of brilliance.”

According to researchers Theresa Glomb of the University of Minnesota and Eugene Kim of the Georgia Institute of Technology, this envious nature is born out of what psychologists refer to as “upward social comparisons.” Many workers overestimate their skills, which results in great disappointment when they are unable to perform as well as their more capable colleagues. Therefore, they try to make life difficult for the high-performers.

Apart from colleagues, good performers are often targeted by their managers. Since good performers usually complete their work well in time, more work is assigned to them, some of which is unsuitable to the interests or skillsets of the workers. This is the conclusion of a study by Grainne Fitzsimons of Duke University and alluded to by The Economist.

There is also a tendency among less capable coworkers to take advantage of the good work by the high-performers. For instance, when an average or lazy worker recognizes that there is someone else who can take on an additional burden, that encourages them to pass on their incomplete work to the high-performing colleague. Therefore, the high-performers end up having more on their plate than they can handle, which leads to work dissatisfaction and demotivation.

This is what many analysts call the undue punishment meted out to high-performers by both colleagues and managers. This situation is most apparent when a better-than-average worker (high-performer) works for a less-than average (weak) manager. The latter recognizes the skills of the former and doesn’t hesitate to pile on more work. The good worker succumbs and works long hours to complete the extra work until a breaking point is reached and the capable worker is forced to seek employment elsewhere. The end result for the company is the loss of a high performer because of being targeted by weaker and less capable managers and/or colleagues. So the real loser in the tussle is the company, which loses a valuable “people-oriented” asset.

The apathy toward high-performers differs from industry to industry. According to Sue Filmer of HR consultancy firm Mercer, the busy environment in dynamic business setups, such as tech firms, leaves less scope for workers and bosses to devote time to target their more capable peers or subordinates. The same applies to small companies with few employees. On the contrary, workplace jealousy is more marked in the services sector and law firms.

It is imperative for companies to deal with “performance punishment.” First, there is a need to prevent such occurrences by having a clear idea of the person the company wants to hire. Second, enough time needs to be devoted to train the new employee, which can build a strong foundation for the expectations from that employee over a period of time. Third, managers need to communicate to each employee the specific role for which they are hired, and to ensure that they fulfil that role thoroughly on their own mettle. Each employee must be accountable for his or her work, from start to finish. Finally, it is important to develop an employee development culture (EDC), whereby employers can meet managers and workers periodically to track how they are doing. If this multi-pronged approach is adopted by companies, they can surely reap the rewards of greater productivity and an amicable office environment.




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