Prevent grains of sand to become mountains
I believe you agree we all should be team players and work happily with each other and live in harmony and support each other and... And world peace. That's not how we work. Although "Must be a team player" has its place in almost every jobs ad, not all people are team players and you should get used to it.
A designer who loves to work alone, sales genius wants to go on the field alone, your top engineer likes to work at night when nobody's around... Those are examples of people who can posses great skills and they can be very effective and useful for the company and you shouldn't insist to put them in the box. If they live to work alone an bring you results, so be it. A big applause every Friday or yelling "We are the best!" at the beginning of a working day will not lift your company up, your employees' work will.
So, if you have a great worker don't restrain her and don't ask her to do what everybody else does because you will lose an exceptional worker. Let her do what she does best and don't put meaningless tasks ahead of her just because somebody, decades ago, thought that everybody must be crying of joy because your company is the best in the universe. Be flexible and remember that the best companies are those that don't restrain their workers.
What to do if your employee is too fast? It may sound funny and half of you will say "I'll give him more work!" and that would be one of the worst decisions you made. Maybe you know the situation: the worker must make 10 pieces during his working day. He makes 15. The leader says "OK, 15 from now on". The worker makes 20. The leader steps in and says "OK, 20 from now on." After several goal lifting the results is: the worker left the company, the leader have no idea why and how to replace him.
If your worker knows his job well and is fast, think about 50:50 solution. If he made everything in four hours instead of eight, take those four hours that left and give two to you and two to him. In other words, let him work for the company for two hours and the final two hours he's free to do what he likes. This is a standard method of rewarding.
You will be surprised: in many cases your worker will work for the company the whole day and won't take those two hours to himself. The result: he happy, you happy, company happy, can't be better than that. ■
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