Every business seeks out the motivated, talented, ambitious, and innovative employee.  But not every employee will have all (or any) of those qualities.  Workers that don’t meet the above criteria can still have a place within a company.

This is the employee deemed the “competent squatter” by R.J. Morris, director of staffing at McCarthy Building Companies.

“Good at the job, not moving anywhere. They are ‘at level’ and make that worse by not adding to their skill set. Ever. The squatter has never heard of the term ‘discretionary effort.’ Can you hire someone to come in, punch the clock and not much else? For me, I think companies can rarely afford it. Capacity and desire to grow are requirements in my mind,” Morris said.

Just because an employee fits the definition of a competent squatter doesn’t mean they can’t have a place at any business.  Some organizations need these very workers to perform task that have low requirements for innovation and high repetition.  They can often be less-expensive to employ and easier to please.

However, for some companies, especially start-ups and innovative companies, having someone that won’t take initiative can harm the rest of the team.

In most cases a good performance management program and effective incentives to motivate employees can help re-engage the team members that have become detached or have begun coasting.  If someone still remains disinterested in contributing it may be time to have a talk with that employee to determine if they are in the right position within the company or even the right career.  Retaining an unhappy worker can bring the rest of the team down, create a hostile work environment, and, in some cases, has led to increased workers compensation claims caused by the “competent squatter” looking for a way out.

Photo Credit: Reynermedia | License