Don’t forget your top performers!
You know them – the ones always willing to go the extra mile, take on the extra task. The ones that you still see on the floor when everybody else has gone home. The ones that, against all odds, reach the sales target… or any target for that matter. Or maybe they don’t, but when you do the after action review, you realize there is not one thing you would have done differently. These are your top performers!
They will not ask for anything. Will not come barging in demanding a raise, nor will they market themselves as you think they should. Most of the ones I’ve met were bordering introversion. With a very high sense of duty and impeccable planning skills. They are quietly resilient, or openly so and can be pretty tough to manage because they have a difficult time processing things that do not make sense… And, as we all know, at one point or another, we will need to lead change that, at first glance, does not fit into an immediate logical pattern.
Managers always tend to focus on the problems, on the mistakes, things that need repairing. We have a “find-and-fix” pattern that is hard to break out of. Partly because we are required to constantly improve our performance, partly because motivation for high flyers is easy to talk about, but not that easily done.
We engage in constructive criticism, task allocations, performance improvement plans with too much ease. We hardly make room for coaching, motivational speeches, small pats on the back. We are too pressed for time, too challenged to achieve the targets, too busy to listen.
If you find yourself in the picture I painted above, take some time and:
- Just walk to them! Make the time for that. Spend some minutes physically beside them (if location permits) and tell them that they’re doing a great job. They won’t show how much they appreciate it, but you will see it in the way they are doing their job.
- Listen to them! They will have great ideas. They know the business in and out, so they can share the most useful insight. If they do come up with applicable initiatives, make sure you take note and come to them with a status update later on. They will appreciate your involvement and the fact that you can make their voices heard.
- Push them forward or upward! Some will know how to do that themselves, but others will not. They will under-evaluate themselves and they will not know when and if they are ready for the next step. They will be perfectionists and you will need to change that! Encourage them to make mistakes, be there when they make them and pick them up. They will learn to trust you and they will go the extra mile for you.
- Last but not least, speak well of them! Make their names heard, promote them, show them off in talent review boards. Their success is your success. They are the image your company wants to project to internal and external customers, therefore they should be advertised, marketed and supported.
And amidst all of the above – don’t forget to become somebody’s top performer yourself. If you know you’re there already, take a look at what motivates you and what role your manager is playing in that. If you’re happy with the findings, pass that on. If not, make sure you make yourself heard. In some cases, you may need to do the advertising yourself!
Cristiana Stanciu is an experienced Senior Sales Support Manager within Romanian Outsourcing industry (insourcing) having 7 years expertise in handling sales support operations within Oracle Corporation – for various countries within Europe, Middle East and Africa. Cristiana accumulated an interesting experience within sales support operations, insourcing and team management.