Every organization has backbone employees. Never heard of backbone employees? Me neither. I just made it up while writing this article.

And although we might never have heard about backbone employees, you know whom I’m talking about. These are your employees who show up everyday on time at work, do their job, stay a bit longer if needed, and go back home to show up the next day again.

These employees don’t have the ambition to become the next top manager. They come to work because they have to earn money. Work is not their first passion; maybe photography or doing an Ironman competition is. But they show up everyday nonetheless.

Backbone employees don’t belong to that ten percent of employees that form your group of high flyers . That group, in contrast, has a lot of ability and a strong wish to be successful. You expect those employees to achieve a lot. Probably you give this elite group ample attention and recognition because there’s always the fear that they might leave.

Your backbone employees, on the other hand, are also not the people who are in your bottom group of employees. That’s the group of employees that you have the tendency to spend a lot of time on because somehow between them and the organization it doesn’t work out as you expected.

The backbone employees belong to the middle group. Normally you don’t hear from them a lot. They work and don’t cause problems. They might not have the same passion and ambition as you top flyers but they are there everyday. They form the backbone of your organization.

The problem is that you don’t always give backbone employees the attention that they deserve. A lot of your attention goes to your high flyers and employees who don’t meet your expectations.

So, today I would like to ask you to have an honest look at your weekly schedule. Do you give your backbone employees enough attention and the recognition? They deserve it. It is quite something to commit day in day out to a workplace, especially when their real passion is somewhere else.