I sometimes wonder who is the top performer in an organisation. Here are some options to choose from;
The 'look at me' employee - these are the ones who do some great work, but not that often. They like to be involved in work that they are good at so that they can show you how good they are. They can be over the top and some employees dislike their peacock attitude. Support them by asking them which project they want to be involved with and be quick to acknowledge how good they are so that they stop strutting their feathers in front of others.
The 'busy beaver' - These are the ones who get things done. They like to be involved in everything and want (need) to be busy. Give a busy person something to do is their mantra. So do just that, but don't overload them otherwise they may start to make mistakes or suffer from burnout.
The 'worker bee' - They do the majority of your work as a collective. Average people doing an average job equals average output. When was the last time that you stopped and thanked each one? Put a couple of busy beavers in their midst and you will get above average outputs.
The 'just do enough' - You probably won't know their name and possibly don't know where they work. They just reach the required performance measures, they won't volunteer for anything, they will never be the first or last in anything, and never say a word at meetings. But they do work and do just enough. Every now and then walk past them and say hello, let them know that you are aware what they are up to and that they can't hide.
The 'matriarchs and patriarchs' - They are the 'been there, done that, don't tell me what to do, you won't change me' employee. Aged 50 to 55, they have been around the block and are very experienced. However, they didn't change their ways as times changed. They are happy to hang up on a customer if they are sworn at, they will ignore customers if they are busy themselves, and they will disrupt your training sessions by arguing a moot point of no relevance. Divide and conquer is the strategy for these employees. Put each one, and there is only 1 in 10 of them in the workplace, on a different committee. Ensure that you address them personally during a meeting.
The 'problem child' - They have strong ideas and often stray away from policy and procedure. Because of this they get themselves into trouble and are always under investigation. They are the employees who you spend far too much time on. Unfortunately you have to do this if you want them to change. Using the parenthesis model, you spend 80% of your time on them for a 20% return. Spend time showing them how their actions impact on themselves and on their colleagues. Provide them with milestones in which to change, if they don't change then you may have to manage them out of the organisation.
So which of these is your top performer?