Most of the employee challenges that managers face relate to finding ways for keeping employees motivated, engaged and happy. Occasionally, however, you can encounter an employee who is, believe it or not, too eager.

Eagerness – that desire to be a part of things, be involved and be productive – may very well be the most precious trait one can find in an employee. It can create a challenge, though, when the employee is eager to take on projects or tasks that he (she) can’t handle. Two things can happen: either you allow them to take on the project and very likely fail, or you hold them back. Either way, you risk de-motivating someone who you probably really want on your team. What do you do? Here are the three steps you need to take:

1. Thank him for his willingness to step up. Don’t be shy about this – really let him know how much you appreciate it.

2. (Don’t say “but…”).

3. Tell him that this is exactly the kind of project you would like him to eventually take on (Assuming that’s true).

4. Tell him those specific areas that you need him to develop in order to take this project on successfully.

5. Tell him that you are there to support him – to help him get to that level.

6. (Very important) Tell him that you consider him to be a very valuable employee, and that you have a lot of respect for his willingness to always be counted on when things need to get done.

Eager employees are the CEOs of the future. Treat them well, give them the tools, then watch them flourish.

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