Here’s a picture for you. It’s a typical school day – the teacher walks into class and asks for homework submissions. The class dutifully drops off their work on the teacher’s desk. Some students get a pat on the back, some get pulled up. As the class settles back into their seats, the patted lot are often sitting right up in front, while the troublesome ones occupy the back. What’s missing from this picture? 

The students in the middle of class. The ones who escaped the teacher’s attention. They hid in plain sight. 

I should know. I was one of them. 

We all have team members who get hidden in plain sight – the 60% achievers, the middle of the bell curve.

Moving the Middle

Now think about your team at work. Most leaders undoubtedly know how to get their teams to perform – the top performers get promoted or win the Employee of the month, the ones not doing so well get feedback and sent for training. See a pattern here?

We all have team members who get hidden in plain sight – the 60% achievers, the middle of the bell curve. We’ve all been part of the feedback sessions where, as a team leader, you look to “justify” why a team member didn’t get the promotion or the bonus this time around.

Turns out, you are not alone. Managers already struggle with information overload (think of the spreadsheets/ emails/ data you look at daily). It’s practically impossible to look at and interpret all the data at your disposal, focus attention on your to-dos as well as keep an eye out for team members who get hidden in plain sight.

That is the problem. 

Are your team members hiding in plain sight? How much team productivity do you think gets lost due to this? 

40% - that’s the productivity you lose from hidden team members.
move the middle

Google’s project oxygen research showed that Managers need to be good coaches to everyone in their team.  

But that’s hard to do.

Thankfully that’s where worxogo’s AI engine helps. A number of our customers have seen their team’s productivity improve by focussing on the middle. 


Sales Target Achievement - Moving the Middle

Here’s an example of a sales team that saw a 20% increase in sales – just by focussing the team lead’s attention on the middle performers. Very clearly, the orange graph shows more of the team hitting their productivity (and sales benchmarks) over 2 months.

Productivity Benchmark - Moving the Middle

Here’s another for a back-office team working remotely that saw a 15% uptick in team productivity. In this 20% of the poor performers (60% achievers) came within 5% of their targets (the blue line shows more % of the team hitting their benchmarks).

worxogo’s nudge coach enables three key aspects:

1. Help team leads identify team members hiding in plain sight

Using proactive analytics on the team metrics, our engine highlighted the potential goal miss candidates before the manager did – and highlighted which team members needed assistance earlier on in the month. This helped team managers to course-correct much earlier and get closer to their targets. 

2. Personalize the feedback 

The engine nudged each individual team member based on their goals and provided them with a personalized coaching regime. Think of a personal behavior coach that coaches each team member on their unique set of skills, abilities and limitations.

3. Motivate the Middle

Using proprietary algorithms, our engine understood the motivational profile of each individual team member. And like a good manager, motivated each team member to act per those motivations, rather than fall back into old patterns of unproductive behaviors. Understanding what makes individuals tick was key to unlocking high performance because it connected workplace actions meaningfully to their personal work goals, keeping them energized and engaged.

By focussing on the middle, teams consistently improve their outputs, remain more motivated and deliver better outcomes for their managers. And, interestingly, ~75% of those improvements come from the middle performers.

Summing up - the middle 60% are your core performers

Moving the middle can and does deliver real impact. An HBR article confirms the same “The real payoff from good coaching lies among the middle 60% — your core performers. For this group, the best-quality coaching can improve performance…” 

Sometimes the simplest of solutions, too, hide in plain sight. 

Moving the middle can and does deliver real impact.

Photo by Miguel Henriques on Unsplash