Managing Star Employees
Unfortunately, the employees that typically demand your focus are the ones that need guidance. The stars on your team are doing great so they are left to their own devices. But your stars can benefit from your experience, wisdom, praise & course correction too.
Here are some tips for helping your stars shine:
Ask Their Goals - Find out where they want to go and what they think they need to learn. Put them in front of information and opportunities that fit their goals.
Acknowledge, Thank & Praise Their Work - You'd be surprised how motivating that is. Take the time to write hand written thank you notes on nice cards. You will often see them tacked to their cubicle wall.
Do NOT Take Them For Granted - This is the flip side. It's heart breaking and de-motivating to work so hard or long hours and not be acknowledge at all.
Do NOT Micro-Manage - Set achievable goals and milestones. Have weekly check ins and let these stars go! They are often self managing and self motivated. If you micro-manage you will squelch their spirit and drive out their best work, new ideas and innovations. Stars are trust worthy. Give feedback and praise in your weekly check ins to inspire or course correct. No hovering.
Tell Them The Bigger Picture - When Stars know what the bigger picture is and the next steps are they think ahead, optimize and innovate. They will undoubtedly find new and better ways of doing things and saving time.
Reveal How They Will Be Reviewed - When a Star knows what stats, behaviors and characteristics they will be reviewed on and what you expect of them, they will drive themselves to achieve. If you hide a goal or move the goal post you will derail and demotivate them. They will harbor resentment that will impede their ability to be a Star because you have just made that unattainable.
Be Clear On Their Goals - NEVER say "I'll know it when I see it." Know it before you assign it so they have a chance of achieving (and probably exceeding) the goal. "I'll know it when I see it" will always be an unattainable, moving target.
Listen - Spend some of your valuable time listening to them. Ask them what is working well and what is failing. Let them vent – you might just learn valuable information about your team.