How Well Do You Know Your Top Performers?

It’s not hard to identify the top performers in your workplace. They’re the ones you can trust to make a sale, go above and beyond on their job descriptions, and be adept and professional when it matters the most. In fact, your top 20% are responsible for driving 80% of your business.

In “Is Your Sink or Swim Mentality Drowning Your HiPos?” we discussed how failing to coach your top performers can result in losing your people and your profits. To expand upon that discussion, let’s talk about how important it is to take the time to learn more about your top performers, and what happens when you don’t.

 

Value Alignment and Goals

Do you know why your people work for you? Aside from the obvious-- money, benefits, job security-- what are their motivators? What made them choose your business over the other businesses where their skills would be useful? What do they value?

To really understand your people and help keep them motivated, you need to find their “why”. Some coaches and leaders prefer to use the “five why” method to find the deeper reason behind what motivates people, regardless of what area they are coaching in-- business, fitness, or anything in between.

Asking “why do you work here?” may lead to an answer such as “It offers me stable work and the opportunity to advance.” That’s not the real motivator though. So the coach or mentor would ask, “why is that important?” to which the employee might respond, “to support my family and do the things I want to do.”

Deeping further, a coach would ask, “Why does that matter to you?” and the employee might say, “Because I want my family and myself to live a happy, fulfilling life.”

And so on, until “why?” has been asked five times. Not only would an employer learn a lot about their top performer’s motivations, but the employee might define their goals in a way they had never considered.

 

Using Hogan Assessments to Your Advantage

Hogan Assessments are a proven tool that helps identify strengths, weaknesses, values, and opportunities in employees. It uses 11 different personality scales with 33 different subscales to determine how individuals would benefit from coaching and development.

The Hogan MVPI (Motives, Values, and Preferences Inventory) delves into what drives your people and how best to sustain their ambition and dedication to your business. Furthermore, the Hogan MVPI can help you determine where they would fit best overall.

So what happens if you do this comprehensive assessment and determine that there is no job available in your organization that fits the needs of your top performer? You shape a job to fit them.

We get so caught up in the idea that we need to shape our people to fit a job when in reality, we should be shaping jobs to fit our people. If your employee has a skill set that would be well-suited for a task outside their usual scope of work, give them that task. Give them the opportunity for growth and knowledge expansion so that they can live up to their potential and improve their value.

 

What Happens When We Fail?

If your top performing employee feels as though they are not valued or lack opportunity, there is no reason for them to stay with your company. They have already proven that they have the capacity to perform and will have no problem finding a job elsewhere.

That new job? It might be with your competition.

Even if your top performer doesn’t switch sides to work against you, losing them can still have a huge impact on team morale and profits. You’ve not only lost someone who drives your business, but you will also have to pay to replace them and train a new person. Will you be able to train that person well enough to make up for losing your top performer? If you couldn’t put the time and effort into the previous employee, then likely not. There are exceptions to every rule, but why risk it?

 

What We Know

Take a look at your employees as individuals. Joe in accounting doesn’t cease to exist the moment he walks out the door, nor does he cease to be Joe the father and baseball enthusiast when he comes to work. Jane in sales isn’t just striving hard to be the top junior salesperson for the rest of her life. She has aspirations of climbing the ladder, shattering preconceived notions, and making enough money to travel the world.

What we know is that our employees are real people, each with their own story to tell. We know that it is up to us to help them tell it.

 

What to Do

Stop and take a moment to assess how well you know your top 20%. Do you know what motivates them to come in and perform so well every day? If not, it is time to ask them and advocate for their growth and development.

If you lack the skills or time to coach your people, outsource. Find someone who can help your people reach their potential, and find someone that can help you become a better leader for them. Otherwise, you risk losing some of your business’s most valuable assets: the people.

Want to learn more about Hogan Assessments and coaching your top 20%? Contact us to discuss your needs.