Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Are You a Passive or Active Employee?

I've been working for the better part of 15 years now and I've come to understand the difference between an active and a passive employee.

  • A passive employee is someone that can do the work but usually won't start until he's told, exactly, what to do.
  • An active employee is someone that can do the work but generally doesn't need to be told what to do.
Generally speaking, both type of employees are able to do the work but active employees are easier to work with. Since you don't have to tell an active employee what to do, it's possible that he'll be working on things that are not necessarily the top priority for the project; this is why it's important to share clear objective with them.

I originally was a passive employee as I had no clue how to add value on a project when I first started but, as I became more comfortable in my role, I slowly evolve into an active role. Part of this is due to the fact that I hate being told what to do and by finding out, myself, what to do it removes the need for someone else to tell me.
Some people remain passive employees for their entire careers. I wish I could tell you that this is fine but this isn't how I feel about it. When the work demands someone that is able to think on their feet, and the passive worker's contribution never goes beyond what you tell them to do, then their contribution to the project is limited to their manager's ability to tell them what to do. Those types of people are better suited in position that are clear and consistent and require little to no supervision.

Are you a passive or an active worker?

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