As a leader, it’s easy to focus more of your management time on underperforming employees and let your best employees keep fulfilling their duties. You figure since the best employees don’t need your extra attention, you can focus on the ones who really need it. This sounds wonderful and perfect, but the truth is: all employees need attention and to be managed. Letting your best employees “fly under the radar”, so to speak, leaves them feeling frustrated, unmotivated, and not challenged. Long story short, even the best players on your team need coaching.
Here’s how it’s done:
1. Get them to the next level.
Even the best of the top performers need feedback and guidance. They put in the hard work and the effort because they want to progress into a higher role in the future. It’s your job as the manager to mold and help them reach that goal. Do you even know what your star employees want for their future? If not, hold a quick one-on-one to discuss what they want out of their career and figure out a plan to help develop them. The ball is in your court.
2. Offer new challenges.
No challenge, no progress. Simple as that. The last thing you want is for your employees to become complacent. Typically, high-performing employees are fast learners and thinkers who enjoy being challenged at work on the daily. You may have an employee who is an expert at one specific skill, which is great! However, they may not feel challenged enough, so assigning new tasks or skills to learn will increase their value as an employee and a professional. It’s a win-win for everybody.
3. Develop their leadership skills.
As a manager, do you want to move higher in your organization? Or are you interested in taking a new growth opportunity elsewhere? Who is going to take over your spot? Identify the natural leaders who could be your successor and start assigning them leadership responsibilities, such as training new employees, leading team meetings, and owning big projects. Start getting them seasoned and developed with management skills, and they will become outstanding prospects for future leadership positions.