Star performers

I am pleasantly surprised with the vast array of books that are now available to our RA library. Never knew they own that many books.

I’ve read parts of this interesting book: 201 Ways to Turn Any Employee Into a Star Performer by Casey Fitts Hawley

Some stuffs that I get out of the book (things that I can relate to).

Casey suggested that companies should have a (long term) development plan for employees. However there are some factors (myth) why business might shy away from this

  • Once developed, the employee will leave. Casey says, the good ones will leave anyway. But if possible moves this person to another role/position IN the company.
  • Development takes a lot of time from the manager. Casey says managers will spend a lot of time in fixing the problems anyway if there’s little development taking place. It’s better to spend time in positive management tasks she argues.
Some of the problems of great employees:
  • Move out to another job opportunity faster (higher turnover rate)
  • Burn out more easily
Managing Great Employees’ Turnover

Spending time and attention to your great employees will have better ROI than spending time with the problematic ones. The cost of losing great employees is astronomical. It’s a highly likely that your great employees are being constantly approached by headhunters, family, friends etc for job opportunities.

Nicholas Stern says:

Create a culture of exclusivity so people will see working for a competitor as a step down.
Managing Great Employees’ Burnout

Great employees are dependable and high performing, they continue to push and push to meet the goals set for them and their own goals. But often they do this at a cost of their personal life and health.

By the end of the year, the burn out employees will look for another position since a failure (incompentence, which might occur due to their burnout) or a half hearted effort is just not good enough for them. The problem with these star performers is sometimes they can’t bring themselves to cut back or ask help from management, hence starting afresh elsewhere is more tempting proposition.

Possible remedies:

  • Ask the great employees to think balance first, make it their responsibility to achieve this balance. Ensure employees that you are committed for them to achieve this balance. Recognize them as total person not just an employee.
  • Offer self improvement opportunities, these people are usually life long learners, they will be frustrated if they are not given opportunities to learn.
  • Offer variety or even job rotation if possible.
  • Simply ask them to design their ideal job and learn from the answer. You might be surprised of the mismatch between management perceptions and employees perceptions of what constitute ideal.
To sum up:

Invest in the great employees will offer the greatest payback in productivity, innovation and contributions.