Developing High Performers (AKA Rock Stars) Part 1

High performance work organizations want high performing employees, or at least they used to. Many companies do not know how to identify and retain those high performers that they covet. Many companies don’t have adequate applicant or talent tracking software. As an independent consultant I talk to HR professionals, recruiters and managers from all over the country and many of them are trying to find the best system to help them track, develop and empower high performers…better known as Rock Stars.

There are a lot of buzz words and new trends in the HR space, we often move to the next thing before we’ve gotten a handle on the old thing. One of those old things that we have yet to master is Succession Planning or Bench Marking. How deep is your bench right now? If you were to get injured and were unable to work, could your organization survive without you? Do you work so many hours that you barely know what your kids look like? I’m going say that many of you answered “yes” to those questions. Is that bad? Well it’s not good!

Hoarding job duties make us feel secure, right? “They can’t survive without me.” You’ve probably said that to yourself. Guess what, business has been around for centuries and it will continue, so remove the ego and stop collecting duties. Learn to delegate and develop your staff. Someone on your team is eager to take on more responsibilities. But if you have a team who wants to contribute more but they just aren’t skilled enough, then you need to review your hiring process. Good employees want to show you that they can be high performers, but the question is are you ready to allow them to shine?

If so, here are a few things you can do right away. Let’s start with giving your team some projects to do, some real projects and not just the kind that a well-trained monkey can do. You can break those projects down into little assignments, delegate them and see who steps up to the plate. Evaluate their performance, efficiency and productivity. You have to determine who is engaged and able to perform. Engaged means that the employees are in tune and onboard with the organizational goals, mission and vision.

One of my favorite ways to track engagement is to sponsor small team building activities and see who participates. For instance, you send a communication out to the company asking that employees wear a company colors on a certain day. Or you can create a non-mandatory community outreach event (e.g. feeding the homeless, a 5k walk, or an off-site ice cream social) and see who shows up and volunteers. Little cost effective ways to measure engagement. And of course you can administer engagement surveys. (you’re welcome by the way)

That’s the I.D. piece; now once you’ve figured out who, next you have to figure out what you want to do with them.

We will cover that is “Developing High Performers Part 2”


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