Monday, 17 September 2018 13:14

How to Motivate Your High Performers

Every employee is valuable, but certain individuals within an organization set themselves apart due to their high levels of productivity. These high-performers are a huge benefit to a business, both for their contributions and for the example they set for others. Knowing a co-worker is a high performer often spurs others to greater degrees of responsibility and serves overall to boost morale throughout the business.

Here at Baillie Lumber, we’re proud to boast a culture of many high performers. They can be found throughout our organization, whether it is one of our lumber traders, yard managers, or even someone in traffic or accounting. We continuously strive to recognize the qualities these individuals possess, and to nurture and reinforce their strong work ethic. We also encourage them to “offer creative ideas on how to achieve improvement” in business operations and processes.DSC6464

Among the qualities we see in these employees are:

  • A consistently upbeat attitude
  • A desire to learn more and acquire new skills
  • An inherently self-motivating perspective
  • A commitment to go above and beyond their job descriptions

Perhaps most importantly, high-performing individuals regularly succeed at achieving the tasks they take on. They often do so with little or no active supervision. In fact, we’ve found that sometimes the best thing a business owner or manager can do is just “get out of the way” and let these types of employees get on with their work.

There are other ways to motivate high-performers and to ensure they’re made to feel essential to the organization. Here are some motivational techniques to consider implementing in your workplace environment.

Know who they are. In the hectic pace of daily business operations, it’s not uncommon to overlook the work high-performers do, or fall into a trap of taking these individuals for granted.

“Managers tend to get so caught up in the details of how employees are doing their job that they forget to look at the actual outputs, or results, that determine who is truly excelling in their role,” notes corporate learning expert Jeff Miller. Focusing on “actual business numbers is critical” for identifying and nurturing high-performers.

Stop micromanaging! Even if your intentions are right—that is, closely following the work of a productive employee in order to ensure the best results—most efforts at micromanagement tend to undermine morale and output.

A more beneficial approach focuses on observing a high-performer’s work habits, in the hopes that there are “lessons learned” that can be applied to the workplace in general. Encourage high-performers to share work-flow techniques and other habits that their co-workers can successfully emulate.

Eliminate organizational obstacles. In some larger companies, the path to effective project completion may be hindered by layers of bureaucracy or other internal roadblocks. The best thing you can do for high-performers is eliminate these obstacles, while concurrently providing your team with the most efficient resources available. For these individuals, chances are that the learning curve for adopting new tools and technologies will be short and sweet.

Offer ongoing feedback. In contrast to micromanagement, look for opportunities to provide feedback on the efforts of high-performers. It’s OK to critique any areas where performance falls short, but just as importantly, let them know you’re happy with their work, and that you’re ready and willing to offer other growth opportunities as they arise.

“If top talent has to wait around until their annual performance review to hear feedback, they’re going to feel that their professional development is being stymied,” notes HR expert Anne Hayden. Ongoing feedback signals that “their managers are invested in helping them succeed.”

Obviously, high-performing employees merit special attention—particularly those who demonstrate leadership potential. With these individuals, share opportunities for professional development and performance that highlight their strengths and address their shortcomings. They could well prove to be your leaders of tomorrow.

Brett Del Prince
Baillie Lumber
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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