Top performers appreciate managers who base actions on data
In the current downturn, companies are obviously interested in retaining their top performers. When there are fewer hands to do more work, it is the top performers who can be relied on to put in optimum performance. These performers can turn the business around once things improve.In such a scenario, the last thing any management wants to hear is top performers quitting their job. So they are making concerted efforts to keep these employees happy. Aspects like competitive pay, growth and training opportunities, challenging work and prompt recognition are given more attention in their case. Yet there may still be certain reasons making these employees want to quit. Other reasons could be lack of freedom or even remarkably high performance expectations from the management. But even if these aspects are taken care of there are other subtle factors that can alienate top performers.
These not so obvious reasons are almost always connected to their relations with their immediate boss. Often the only difference between the top performer and his manager is a few years of experience and this employee has all the talents and skills to do the manager’s job. The top performer is usually next in line for the manager’s position if he decides to leave.
This proximity in skills, the job and the responsibilities makes the top performer familiar with the manager’s work style, attitude, decisions and choices. And it is often these aspects and dissatisfaction with them that alienate the top performer from his job. Top performers find it irritating when the boss forgets important matters or ignores them.. It irritates them when they have to cover up for the manager’s oversight, for instance when the manager forgets a delivery deadline for a client and the top performer works overtime to deliver it. Though some employees might view it as a test of their efficiency or training for the manager’s job, when it happens one time too often it can be exasperating. Then it is seen as the manager’s lack of attention, which affects the efficiency of all concerned. Issues regarding production, profits or performance bother top performers and they are likely to pose tough questions on them to their manager. They are happy when they get clear answers but are dissatisfied when the replies are ambiguous or deflect from the point. They regard this as a sign of the manager’s unwillingness to maintain clear, open lines of communication. Top performers appreciate managers who base their actions on data rather than act impulsively. At the same time if the manager uses information or lack of it as an excuse for not taking any action, then the top employees begin to doubt his judgment.Most managers support top performers in their team and are happy to groom them for higher positions. But some are happier with employees who perform well but do not aspire for higher positions.
Top performers find such an attitude frustrating. These are some factors that alienate top performers. The management must make efforts to recognise them and urge the concerned supervisors to modify their behaviour or work styles so that they can inspire the top performers to put in their best. On the manager’s part he should read the cues that indicate that his top performer/s are getting alienating and correct his behaviour.
He should attempt to be one step ahead of them rather than shunt his responsibilities to them so that they aspire to catch up with him.
He must be honest and frank in his communication especially when answering their queries on important work issues. He should base his decisions on sound judgment, which the top employees will appreciate and emulate. Other things managers can do to keep top performers happy include:
* Grooming top performers for higher positions
* Providing them challenging/varied tasks and decision making powers
* Delegating more responsibilities
* Discouraging mediocrity in the team by setting higher goals and defining the rewards for success and consequences for failure for the whole team
* Being consistent and fair in assessing and rewarding the performance of every team member
* Avoiding favouritism
* Shunning micromanagement of top performers
When top performers are confident in their managers and they feel valued in the organisation, they will be willing to give their best to the team and the organisation.
They will be ready to work for the organisation through thick and thin rather than look at he first available opportunity to leave.
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