High performers can add huge value to your business, help you develop strong client relationships, promote your brand and really drive your company forward.
They’re self-starters who need very little management but employers shouldn’t be too complacent. High performers are loyal but they can also be tempted to move on. Here are some of the key things to watch out for if you want to keep your high performers on board:
High performers need to feel valued
High performers move jobs if they feel undervalued by their managers. If they know they’re adding value to the business, they will quickly become disengaged and despondent if they feel their contribution is not recognised.
High performers love benefits and bonuses. But they don’t just stay with a company purely because of the amount of money they’re offered; rather they want the size of their bonus to reflect the job they’ve done and the overall impact it has on the company. They need to feel that their contribution has been rewarded fairly.
High performers love positive feedback alongside financial rewards. If they start feeling that they’re being taken for granted, they may start looking elsewhere for that recognition.
High performers need feedback – even though their work is great
Despite excelling at what they do and achieving superb results, high performers are always striving to be even better, to learn more and to meet new challenges.
So while you may think they’re great and there’s nothing you can fault them on, make sure you nonetheless give them constructive feedback on what they could do differently or better. Give feedback frequently and sometimes even spontaneously – if you wait for the annual review, you may find your top performer has already moved elsewhere!
They want everyone in their team to pull their weight
Just because they are more productive than their colleagues, it doesn’t mean that high performers should feel like the only one in their team who is contributing anything worthwhile. They want to see everybody at least trying as hard as they are. They certainly don’t want to be carrying the workload of any weaker colleagues.
As part of their need to feel valued, high performers also want to see a differentiation between the rewards and compensation they are receiving and those of their lower-performing colleagues. A lack of accountability is a real turn-off for high performers so they certainly don’t want to see an indifference or lack of action from their management towards any weak links within their team.
High performers don’t like to be too regulated
High performers are usually self-starters who have often achieved their success by being creative, innovative and driven. They strive to do things better, more efficiently and quickly. So they won’t take kindly to a boss who tries to micromanage them or doesn’t listen to their ideas, or to a company which forces them to follow procedures which restrict their ability to carry out their work quickly and effectively.
This doesn’t mean that they like to break the rules – and it also doesn’t mean that a company shouldn’t have procedures and regulations in place. But if a high performer feels stifled and unable to carry out their role fully, they will become increasingly frustrated and begin to look elsewhere.
Their expectations aren’t being met
Your high performers may have different expectations to other employees. They want to be well rewarded and compensated for their work in a variety of ways including compensation, bonuses, pensions, flexible working or good work-life balance, holidays and training. If you want to keep hold of your top performers, it’s a good idea to find out what benefits they value most.
High performers are also usually very focused on customer service and so will have certain expectations from their company around quality and production. If these expectations are not met, it could demotivate them.
They need to be excited, interested and engaged
Companies should be putting at least twice as much effort in to keeping their high performers engaged as they do with other employees. They need to recognise high performers early on and give them a role which makes the most of their abilities.
High performers are often the kind of people who relish a challenge or are forever trying to better themselves. They may be exceptionally good at a particular skill or have some expert knowledge of something, but they’ll soon get bored if that’s all they do. They may feel frustrated by a lack of career prospects or new product development.
So high performers should be given opportunities to extend their skills, develop professionally and move through the ranks. Of course, managers are often reluctant to let their best people move on to a new role, but it’s better that it’s a new role within their company than with a competitor.
They get burnt out
For many of the reasons listed above, high performers can end up being overloaded with work and often find themselves in the position where they are the only person in the company with the knowledge and skills to perform a particular task. They also often end up picking up work left by less competent or motivated colleagues.
If this continues for a length of time, high performers can often end up feeling stressed, under huge pressure and, frankly, burnt out.
If you’re a high performer looking for a new challenge or need a high performing salesperson on your team contact our recruitment experts on 0115 8714 777