How many times have you stood in a business and watched one person work their fanny off (as my mother would say) while two other employees stand there chatting? And while this is happening, you’re waiting.
I’ve seen this happen in so many places now that I’ve come to assume it’s the natural ratio of hard workers to bullshitters.
One person works, two chat. And, often, the customer waits.
Is this the standard now in American business? (I don’t know if it is in any other society, because although I’ve lived overseas, that was in Japan and I remember everyone hustling all the time.) But I see this 1 Works/2 Chat a lot in America—in small businesses and larger corporations.
So, what to do?
(Then you need to pay the Ones well and retain them, because a happy One will always produce better quality and more work than 2 Twos. Well, that is unless you’re not aiming for excellence. Some organizations start with Ones and then devolve to Twos to save money. The only trouble is that quality work is produced by quality people. So know where you are on the food chain, and where you want to be.)
And if you have many Twos in your business? See if you can replace them with Ones. Or you could try to make Twos into Ones, but I suspect that’s a long and difficult process. Good luck with that.
And if you’re an employee? Be a One. Be the best One anyone ever met. It takes time, but hard work eventually pays off.