Updated: Mar 14
As leaders we are all under so much stress and pressure, especially in these times. We are expected to do more with less and like the rest of the world, we are trying to navigate so much change! When we have an employee, the Holy Grail of an employee, who is efficient, engaged, has great quality work, and can be depended on, we feel like we hit the Jackpot! FINALLY, there is someone we can depend on, now we can focus on other things! This is a great feeling, but beware, this could be the first step to pushing your high performer into the arms of another!
In the past, I have been guilty of doing these things and lost some amazing people as a result. If you are doing any of these things, it’s time for a change!
Piling on the work. Do you have a high performer that you can give virtually any task or project to, and they nail it? Is there an urgent deliverable that you only trust him or her to do? Can he or she take on more work than their peers?
Not listening to them. Does your high performer come to you with possible solutions to issues and make recommendations? Do these suggestions sound good in theory but you just don’t make the time to review or follow up with him or her?
Not helping them grow. Is your high performer doing so well that you cannot imagine him or her in ANY other position? Is he or she so irreplaceable in that position that the thought of promoting him or her makes your stomach ache?
So, you are guilty of doing at least one of these things, now what? Well, first things first, you MUST make some changes and quickly!
Create KPIs focused on productivity and quality of your team’s work. This will help leaders manage workloads, set expectations for the entire team, celebrate your high performers, coach low performers, and manage out employees who are not a good fit.
Include them in or have them lead workshops focused on areas that require improvement within the team. If your high performer has come to you with recommendations, it makes sense to give them a seat at the table. Their opinion matters.
Meet with your high performer and find out what their goals are, help them create a plan for personal growth, commit to supporting them, and stick to your commitment!
As you know, there are just some high performers who you will not be able to hold on to regardless of what you do because it is just time for them to move on. However, as a leader, it will benefit both you and your employee, if you do your best to nurture them and support their growth regardless of where they end up.