The 3% employees putting a spanner in the works

les 3% qui empêche d'avancer

In any organization, there are about 3% of individuals who cause issues. This 3% number is arbitrary and varies from one organization to another, from one day to the next. It aims above all to highlight a way too common management practice.

Who are the 3% ?

These are employees who do not have the behavior expected by their organization. Let us not forget that employees are above all human beings, who have their character. But also their mood and their personal problems. If some are malicious and will always stay in the 3% group, others have a different value system and need to learn the value system of their organization.

For example, a model employee can move into this 3% group as a result of a personal problem. Just as another employee can leave the group due to changes in the management of their activities by their supervisor.

How to manage this 3% ?

In low employee autonomy models, the majority of organizations, procedures are put in place to “protect” the organization. For example, the operator must return his used gloves to have new ones. Or the employee must request a key and note in a register the list of supplies requested.

This management practice are a lose-lose for the organization. Although they preserve theft of gloves or supplies by a minority, they penalize 97% of employees. In addition to the time they lose getting their work tools, they feel a lack of confidence from their employer. Well-being at work is one of the keys to performance and is very difficult to build.

As the group of 3% is variable, it is up to the first level manager, generally on the field, to know and manage his or her team. It is up to them to take an action with the concerned person to explain the expected behavior. It takes courage to “punish” bad behavior, but this skill is part of what is expected from a good manager.


Do not penalize 97% of your employees and your organization, learn how to handle the 3% that pose problem. Concentrate on the real problems!

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