Management is tough. Nobody becomes a manager because they want the stress, the thankless assignments, or the continual second-guessing of your professional judgment. Yet, no matter how good you are at your role, there’s always someone better out there. So when one of your underlings suddenly blazes past you to become the new de facto expert in your field, it can be hard to know what to say as a manager during your traditional end-of-year employee review.
Your employee recently received a high-performance review, so you’re unsure what constructive feedback you can provide. Maybe you’re running out of ideas to help them improve and continue to grow within your team. But perhaps your direct report is deserving of more than another ‘attaboy’ for a job well done.
As managers, You’re supposed to give honest feedback to employees based on how they are performing. But when you’re dealing with an employee who is already doing exemplary work, it can be hard to find ways to generate growth opportunities. We thoughts to pose this question to industry leaders to see what they have to say about it.
Here are some suggestions from experts so you can do more than pat your rock star on the back when it comes time to give Kudos.
It is a common belief that performance review conversations are only for appraisal, feedback, and reward or punishment. However, many other important objectives should be achieved in such meetings. The meeting should provide you an opportunity to identify high achievers’ goals and interests, their personal and professional development needs, the immediate next steps in their career and growth plans, recognition of their efforts, and acknowledgment of their successes. Overall, it would be best to provide them with a clear vision for the future that they can feel passionate about and develop a more substantial commitment to the organization. It is worthwhile to invest more time and energy upfront in setting a healthy workforce.
High performers work hard, and openness to new ideas comes with the job. Communicating that you value their contributions and are willing to invest in them will motivate them to give you their best and keep them engaged. A tangible “thank you” goes a long way.
“High achievers are hungry to learn to get better, feeding their desire with the right but fewer words and more challenges will keep them feeling acknowledged. Recognition boost the performance and morale of high performers on your team. It sends a positive message, letting them know that their work is valued in the organization, and gives them something concrete to place on their performance management record.”, said Robin Brown, from Vivipins.
The most crucial point to keep in mind regarding high performers is that they mostly do not like micromanaging. Instead of telling them how to do it, tell them what to do.
A performance review is done to assess the employee’s current performance level, determine if they are ready for another role or next level of a succession plan, and make future development plans.
High performers know they deliver more than their peers, and as such, they always have a leg up in the retention game. The last thing you want to do is surprise them during the performance review process with something negative that they weren’t expecting. Such surprises are likely to increase flight risk.
“A manager should avoid giving a high performer only positive feedback because this can lead to complacency. Instead, give them challenging goals that stretch their skills to get better in specific areas. When the employee meets those goals or needs help, be prepared with a plan to offer additional support and training”, said Anders Rydholm, PrimetimePokemon.com.
There has been a lot of research on the topic of how to give feedback effectively. Employee performance is one of the most significant factors in determining whether a company will succeed or fail. While many executives focus on hiring top-notch talent, others find themselves trying to figure out how to motivate and reward top producers and keep their best workers happy.
According to one survey, only 32% of workers feel more motivated when receiving regular feedback from a boss boosts productivity and makes employees more committed and engaged. Being recognized in front of their peers, they feel more confident in their work and exhibit higher productivity.
And the annual performance review is the perfect opportunity to show your top performers that they are valued and appreciated.
Motivate and thank your top performance, and help them continue to be persistent as Ann Young from Fix The Photo, endorsed that, “In a performance review, it’s important to communicate that you value an employee’s performance, and are pleased with the results. That said, even if you’re highlighting an employee’s work ethic or production to high performers, there’s no need to overstate your interaction. Let your words focus on the complete picture of the employee from start to finish.”
Always make sure your feedback is constructive, try to avoid flat surprises, and give high-performing employees positive feedback right away. For example, let’s say you want to discuss an employee’s productivity. The last thing you want to do is wait until the end of a performance review to tell him he needs to improve on this dimension. Instead, use positive feedback from his direct reports as a starting point and then ask him questions about how he can double down on the strengths mentioned by his peers.
That’s why it’s best to use the performance review as an opportunity to start building a solid foundation of accomplishments for next year — a foundation that high performers want to be on and stay on.
According to Amelia Miller, CEO of Essay River described, “Performance reviews are a chance for you to recognize the contributions of your employees and set a plan to meet your organization’s goals in the upcoming year. You can explain the meanings of behaviors, summarize each employee’s performance, suggest what they could do better, and talk about what you appreciate about them.”
Maintaining a good performance in the workplace is an essential part of succeeding, and receiving good performance reviews is the best sign you’re on the right track. It’s necessary to have clearly defined and communicated goals before your review to know exactly how to achieve desired results.
Always remember when giving performance reviews to high performers, it’s essential to pay special attention to them. High performers may have several offers on the table: the company is investing a lot in them. If they aren’t rewarded for their loyalty to the company, they are likely to seek greener pastures elsewhere. That’s why, when giving performance reviews, you shouldn’t focus on weaknesses, as that will only serve to demoralize your best employees. Instead, try to provide concrete suggestions of things that can be improved and self-improvement goals that are challenging but doable.