The employees who live your values, work toward your vision, and nurture great relationships with clients and team members–those are the star performers. Give them your time, attention, and resources.
Why? First, it’s good for your business. The more you invest in them, the better they will be at their jobs. Developing the right people is a much better use of your time than trying to improve the performance of the wrong people.
Second, you are not the only shop in town. There are other companies out there competing for your most talented employees. Invest in them if you want to keep them.
Delegate and Elevate
To develop your star performers, “delegate and elevate.” Give them opportunities to take over tasks or projects that will help them grow. Give them a say in the responsibilities they will take over.
To identify delegation opportunities, ask, “What am I doing that you would like to be doing?” Or, “What I am doing that you think is more appropriate for you to be doing?”
Offer direction and support, but don’t micromanage. Remember, your star performers are the “right people” who are already living your organizational values. You don’t need to constantly monitor them. Focus on your own core competencies and leadership duties.
To demonstrate that you trust them, ask, “In what ways, or on which projects, am I micromanaging you?” Then listen and be open to feedback. Keep it safe for them to communicate openly.
Encourage your high performers to write their own personal purpose, vision, and values statements. As Peter Senge points out in The Fifth Discipline, it’s good for the company when employees define themselves through their own personal vision and values. During the exercise, your star performers will make connections between their own passions and goals and the opportunities and needs of the organization. Their commitment to your organization increases in the process.
To encourage people to see the connection between their personal goals and the organization’s needs, ask, “What opportunities or issues do you see that you could take ownership of, or take responsibility for solving?”
When you have the right people in the right seats, and you work to help them reach their maximum potential, everyone benefits–you, your company, your team, your clients, and the star performers. Developing the right people is an investment in your business’s success.