Sounds easy but any manager worth their salt knows that attracting and keeping great people is the single most important, and often the most difficult, skill set to learn.
How can you, as a manager or human resource professional, make your leadership mark identifying, developing and motivating top performers?
1. Always be recruiting.
Develop performance profiles and so you and your team know what superior performance looks like. Then you and your team can keep an eye out for the right mix of interpersonal and professional characteristics that will potentially make someone successful on their team.
You never know when someone will cross your path. I once invited a server from a restaurant to come for an interview for a customer service job. Why? Because she impressed me in her manner and in the way she went out of her way to ensure that I was a happy customer. She turned out to be the top performer on our customer service team.
2. Track Progress.
Have a system in place for training employees and tracking their performance, especially during their first year on the job. This doesn’t have to be a complicated affair, a simple schedule outlining learning and performance goals for each quarter (timelines are essential) works great.
Equally important is that you share this with your new recruits and that you are both signed off on it. This takes the agonizing guess work out of wondering whether or not they’re meeting your expectations. And it keeps them (and you) accountable with an agreed upon frame of reference when doing performance evaluations.
3. Communicate Regularly.
Good managers take the time to know what makes their people tick. As humans we are instinctively driven by the need to belong, to be valued, and acknowledged as a part of something meaningful.
Each member of your team should know how their job supports your organization’s objectives. People may work hard for you regardless, but they’ll be much happier (more motivated) just knowing how their efforts are contributing to the big picture.
Regularly bench-mark with your staff on the team’s achievements in relation to the company’s overall goals. Be as specific as possible and make sure that they understand their role in every success.
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