Many employees seem to want to ‘hide in the shadows’ – to get on with their work without disturbing their supervisor/manager.  Many supervisors/managers seem equally happy with this approach, feeling that employees who ‘raise their heads above the parapet’ are likely to do so for negative reasons – because they have made a mistake or forgotten to do something. 

Of course this often means that employees are also not visible because of exceptionally good performance.

Managers should try to make all employees visible – by checking regularly on them, not in a punitive way, but simply to check that they fully know their role and responsibilities, have the knowledge, skills, tools and equipment  required to carry out that role effectively, and are fully engaged and motivated.

Supervisors should look at performance data – throughput levels, quality levels, etc – but should also talk to employees while observing them in the workplace at the source of good or bad performance.

Employees who are invisible may be dragging down your productivity. If employees are visible, you can make a judgement about their performance and manage it accordingly.