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Things to Consider When Managing High Performers

Recognizing the high performers in your workplace can help you strengthen your team. Managing top-performing employees comes with a unique set of challenges for employers, but can also drive company success when done properly.

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Impact of high performers on a business

When managed correctly, high performing employees bring many benefits to their employers. They’re able to set goals and quickly identify the steps they must take to accomplish those directives ahead of schedule. High performers are able to balance the quality and quantity of their work, consistently outputting polished projects at a faster pace than their peers. Having high performers on your team allows you to confidently delegate tasks and develop strong momentum towards company initiatives.

Related:Employee Performance Goals: Examples for Managers to Use

Characteristics of high performers

High performers are people who consistently exceed expectations and generate impressive results for their employers. Depending on their field, high performers can have a range of skills that help them cultivate excellence at work.

Benefits of having high performers on your team

Regardless of their experience and industry knowledge, high performers often have these positive characteristics in common:

  • Hardworking:High performers commit themselves to their work and are able to stay focused on a task for long periods of time. They’re eager to work overtime to accomplish their goals and find ways to improve.
  • Optimistic:Many high performers naturally have a positive and optimistic attitude that encourages others and helps them overcome challenges as they occur. High performers are not easily discouraged and instead focus on finding new ways to solve problems.
  • Organized:Being well-organized allows high-performers to keep track of different tasks and deadlines simultaneously. Strong organization helps them access essential resources right away and keep a consistent pace at work.
  • Motivated:High-performers have a strong internal motivation to succeed and spend time seeking out new opportunities. They find ways to become personally invested in their work and take pride in their professional accomplishments and behavior.

Common issues with high performers

Despite their talent and success, high performers may also have traits and habits that interfere with their success in the workplace. Good managers are able to anticipate these issues and help high performers manage these common traits:

  • Prone to burnout:Employers tend to rely on high-performing employees, who may feel intense pressure not to disappoint. Their desire to succeed can lead to them becoming overworked and experiencing burnout.
  • Easily bored:High performers can feel limited and bored if they don’t have the opportunity to grow, causing them to feel unappreciated and disengaged at work.
  • Impatient:Some high performers have trouble working as part of a team. They may get impatient with the output of other employees and perceive that they could do a better job working independently.

Keeping high performers at your company

High performers are an important part of a strong and capable team in the workplace. High performers usually understand the value of their work and look for workplaces that appreciate their skills and help advance their careers. Retain top performers at your company by offering opportunities for growth and cultivating an employee-focused work environment. High performers want to work with other motivated professionals and have a clear sign that their employer values ambition and work ethic, so be mindful about rewarding their individual success.

How to identify high performers

To effectively build a successful staff of high performers, you must be able to recognize them in the workplace. This allows you to find the best candidates for promotions and start developing future management through focused professional development and mentorship. Follow these steps to identify the high performers at your organization:

1. Look for growth

When making business decisions, identify high performers by looking for patterns of growth. High performers often have clear evidence of professional development based on their involvement at work, demonstrating their ability to pursue new challenges and seek out more responsibility. Look at performance reviews for current employees and identify who has put in the initiative to grow their position.

2. Gauge their interest

High performing employees also pay attention to detail at work by communicating directly and promptly, asking engaging questions during projects and actively looking to improve workplace processes. Current employees who regularly seek out feedback, ask for new assignments and spend time learning about their coworkers’ roles can also have the potential to become high performers.

3. Know who makes decisions

Being able to make informed choices is a sign that someone can assess a situation and trusts their own judgment and expertise. Pay attention to who wraps up group discussion and leads the conversation towardmaking a final decision. Similarly, actively make note of who suggests new and innovative solutions to problems.

Tips for managing high performing employees

To get the most out of your high performing employees while also making sure they can sustainably succeed on your team, use these management strategies:

Provide regular feedback

High performers want to know what they can do to continue progressing in their role. Schedule regular one-on-ones where you give them recognition for their successes and provide constructive criticism so that they can identify key areas for improvement and stay engaged.

Take a supporting role

Focus on equipping your high performer with the tools they need to succeed instead of giving them direct instructions on how to complete a task. Micromanaging high performing employees can make them feel frustrated and ultimately slow them down. Ask them about their key obstacles and take suggestions on how you could better facilitate their workflow.

Get to know their interests

Take time to understand what motivates your employees so that you can assign them engaging projects that interest them. Learning about their professional goals can help you connect them with a mentor, provide relevant professional development courses or assign them new types of responsibilities.

Encourage self-care

Pay attention to how much time your employee spends on the job and encourage them to take breaks so they can stay motivated and relaxed. Remind them of the importance of managing stress and maintaining a work-life balance and provide wellness opportunities like in-office massage, extra days off or guided meditation.

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