The B players.
In most companies, B players typically make up the majority of an organization (not the top producers nor the bottom 10 percent), but are oftentimes overlooked, which is one of the biggest mistakes a company can make. Focusing on this group can increase staff retention, improve culture and ultimately grow revenue.
Everyone knows who the A players are...the Michael Jordan's and Tiger Woods of the world, and while they may need a Phil Jackson or a great swing coach, they have the innate skills, desire and ability to be great.
What ends up happening is that leaders and managers tend to gravitate towards A players because they're fun to be around. They execute and get things done and succeed often.
B players need more guidance and development in order to achieve that same success, but if companies don't pay attention to this group, they're failing at building a pipeline of A players.
Differentiating high-potential B players from C's is hard for some managers.
B players are timid and lack confidence, but they're interested unlike C players who may show up to work every day but tend to be the eye-rollers.
Some B players are quiet. They pay attention, but they just don't always speak up.
They're flexible and open to new opportunities. If you throw them on a big project unexpectedly, they're excited to be on that team and contribute. C players will ask how long the hours are going to be and if there's going to be free lunch. They are the people who are always asking questions before the project even gets started.
B players want to know where they can improve, and they respond well to feedback. They want to know what they need to do to grow.
Stack-ranking employees helps map it out, and it works well when you do it in three categories: 1. Who you like the best 2. Who has the most potential 3. Who currently is the best at their job.
More times than not, No. 1 is associated with No. 3, and that's where managers focus their attention; however, they need to focus on that second group and start spending more time with these employees.
B players need time and attention.
Phil Jackson isn't going to throw anyone into the game without confidently knowing how they will perform. That confidence comes from hours of one-on-one time and coaching. That same time commitment and coaching needs to be applied to B's to help develop them into A players.