Are You Looking Past Your Best Employee?


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Look at your team. Let me describe one of your members and see if you can spot them.

They are not the most vocal of the group. They are on time, they complete their work correctly they are self-managed and self-motivated. They seem to be well-grounded and well-liked amongst co-workers.

And now let me tell you what you do- you take them for granted.

I am pointing this out because it has happened to me.

For anyone who is managing a team of people, we tend to focus on two groups of people: the needy superstars as well as the low performers.

The first group, we need to continue to refocus or listen to the drama in order to keep them performing. Top performers are results driven and move through the world at a high level and need reassurance as well as someone to help keep them in their lane

The second group is where a lot of manager’s focus because they feel if they can get this group performing it will help the overall group. In my opinion this is a miscalculation of your time. You need to dedicate the correct time to retrain this group but many of these people will not be able to do the job and they must be dealt with according to your performance policy.

The one person who gets lost in this shuffle is the top performer who does not need constant handholding. They deliver results on time and correctly, they are process driven, organized, ask for things when relevant and usually fly under the radar.

In meetings they rarely offer opinions because the more vocal group always does.

If this person is familiar to you I want to stress that you need to adjust how you deal with them or else run the risk of losing performance.

All of us react at times like children. We like getting feedback when things are good, so we repeat that behavior, but also kids will end up doing something incorrectly just to have your attention. Remember any feedback in a child’s mind is attention and it registers as something they want more of in the future.

Same for this quiet performer. I am not saying they will tank their performance to get your attention but you run the risk of them not feeling appreciated or noticed and then results will slip a bit. It may not be a conscious decision.

These individuals are most likely your best trainers. They have a sense of how to break things down into simple pieces and can explain to others what they do.

Having these people sitting at the table when discussing process or the pulse of the organization is invaluable. But again, many times we look past them because they are not in our face demanding attention or their lack of performance is demanding attention.

Here are some tips for maximizing these employees:

  • Create a monthly roundtable or lunch where this employee is included with other top employees to discuss what they see going on in the company.
  • Rely on them to create processes for their department and then make sure to point out to the team their work.
  • Put them in a position at team meetings to lead discussions.
  • Discuss the possibility of them handling the training of new employees in their department.

All of these points will help maximize this team member’s involvement as well as showing them that you value their work and effort.

Efficiency is a great thing but can also lull you to sleep. Make sure you are not taking your most effective workers for granted.

Republished with author's permission from original post.


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