One of America’s most famous restaurant owners—Shake Shack—uses a powerful four-quadrant tool to evaluate his employees.
- Danny Meyer—the founder of Union Square Hospitality Group, which owns some of the biggest restaurants in the country, including the burger chain Shake Shack—has high expectations for his employees.
- Meyer uses a quadrant model to evaluate his employees’ skill sets and motivations, The Daily Coach reports.
- The four quadrants include often contradictory combinations of: can, can’t, will, and won’t.
Why it’s important
While Meyer uses this system in Shake Shake and his other restaurants, his evaluation tool can provide leaders in other sectors with an easy way to identify employees’ abilities.
Meyer’s quadrant system divides employees into four groups: the can and will, the can’t but will, the can’t and won’t, and the can but won’t, The Daily Coach reports.
In this system, the can and can’t quadrants represent an employee’s technical abilities, while the will and won’t sections describe the employee’s willingness to perform a task.
Can and will team members are the most valuable employees, Meyer says. These employees are enjoyable to work with and are worth putting effort into developing and inspiring.
“If you have somebody who can and will, I want to celebrate that person,” Meyer says.
Can’t but will employees make an interesting challenge for a manager. While these employees are willing to perform a task, they may not always have the ability. Leaders will need to provide strong guidance for these employees, but once that work pays off, there are substantial benefits for both the manager and the employee.
Can’t and won’t employees are the least valuable option to have on a team. These employees most likely need to be let go once they are identified. Meyer recommends removing them from a team sooner rather than later—as they can be toxic to other team members.
Can but won’t are a particularly frustrating category of employees. This employee has the potential for better performance but not the willingness to do the work. If this outlook continues, this employee will never achieve more than their current status and may not be worth putting effort into at a certain point.
Meyer explains that leaders and managers should identify these employees, but they do not have to stay in those quadrants. While the can and will team members are preferable, a successful leader is marked by what he can do to help the employees in the other categories.