Almost every company has a few high performers or employees who seem to excel at everything they do. In most cases, high performers are not superstars because they are smarter or more talented than everyone else but because they have a different outlook on life. If you manage a department or business unit, you need to be able to identify these individuals and nurture them or you might lose them to one of your competitors.
Middle-of-the-pack employees often believe they are limited by their skills or personality traits. They are content to do a good-enough job to stay employed, but they don't really do anything to stand out from the crowd. High performers, on the other hand, think differently. Instead of seeing limits, they see opportunities. They also exhibit several distinctive behaviors in the workplace.
People who really excel at work often do so because they have identified their true purpose in life. When you do work you really believe in, it's much easier to be passionate about your job and patient with your colleagues. If one of your employees demonstrates passion for the job, you may need to adjust your company's rewards system accordingly. High-performing employees thrive on positive feedback, especially from midlevel managers and executives.
High performers excel at setting goals and making the effort to achieve those goals. Many employees give up at the first sight of an obstacle, but a high achiever keeps plugging along. Consistently reaching goals breeds confidence, which reduces stress and makes high-performing employees more likely to stay calm on the job. The lack of stress makes it easier for successful employees to get along with others, giving them additional social capital and making the workplace a more pleasant place to be.
Many employees let their emotions get the best of them, causing interpersonal conflict and creating stress. High performers, on the other hand, are able to keep their emotions in check. They don't let their emotions get the best of them, even in tough situations. You're not likely to find one of your high-achieving employees crying in the bathroom or shouting at a colleague. That's just not how a high performer operates.
Finally, high performers are in tune with the emotions of their colleagues, which helps them create strong relationships. Their emotional intelligence makes it easier to navigate tricky situations and get around problems with corporate politics. Once a high achiever has demonstrated these abilities, you need to start thinking about how to retain such a valuable employee. Pay raises aren't always the answer; you may need to give a high performer additional responsibilities or the opportunity to move into a management role.
High achievers are an asset to any organization, but you need to work hard to retain them. If you are on the lookout for high performers in your organization, keep an eye out for employees who are confident, passionate about their jobs and empathetic toward others.
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