There is something lying under the surface of our businesses today that threatens to capsize all we hope to create. Our people are the very creators of our future. And not surprisingly, their are a select few that are pure gold. We never have to worry about these team members, because they do their jobs superbly. It would be nice if we had more of top performers. In fact, we’ve come to rely on them so much that maybe we are leaning on them too much—possibly to the point that they are not only tired but seriously considering moving on. What a loss!
If we believe in driving performance, we must not over-extend our workhorses forcing on them the burden of carrying lower producers on their backs? This practice significantly drains their energy and abilities to do what they do best; kick their job’s behind. These group thrives off of winning. If our lack of awareness puts them in a compromised position they will leave to find a place where they are sure to succeed. Then guess what you’ll be left with—those that only know how to be carried and your business will stagnate.
Awareness is half the battle. Now it is time to get creative around recognizing your top performers.
Ask yourself some hard questions to check and balance your own management around your team and its players:
- Is there a particular employee you rely on most to get done what you need done, when you want it done at the level you need it done?
- Does that same employee tend to consistently go the extra mile to deliver beyond expectation?
- Have you ever asked that employee to support the work of a consistently lower performer because you know the quality will be higher and the deadline will be met?
- When a top performer has a glitch where they do not meet their normal heights, do you let them know immediately that they let you down?
- Are they a positive, glowing individual who adds to your culture?
Now think of your questionable performers:
- Do you give them praise when they do something somewhat right so they will continue to strive to do better?
- Do you tip toe around them or attempt to build them up, hoping they’ll get where you need them to be?
- Can you think of the number of times you gave them a “gimme” or did their work for them?
- Did you create a different reward structure for them in an attempt to get them to a higher level of performance?
- Are they a talker or finger pointer who breaks down those around them so they can stand taller?
Part of leading a business is to open doors for your employees in hopes that they step valiantly through them for their benefit and yours. This goes for your top performers all the way down to your lagers. Assess your people assets closely, rate them, rank them, and then manage them accordingly. Make sure along the way you give your stars lots of gold stars for their efforts and results.