Are your top performers holding it together?

There are times when you’re running fast and furious, and your team is doing a great job. But how are the people holding up under the pressure? When you see great results, you may not see fraying around the edges. If unravelling has begun, though, you need to jump in and be on top of it.

You’ll know about your lower performing employees early on. They’ll complain about the work and grumble to their co-workers about how difficult everything is. These aren’t the people to worry about because odds are you aren’t relying on them for the most important deliverables.

Your more determined/high performing employees, on the other hand, don’t immediately show the wear and tear. They’ll keep doing great work and even take on more because that’s who they are. In their efforts to do their best, however, you may miss the signs that fraying has begun.

+ Check in. Know what kind of hours they’ve been working. Ask specific questions about their current assignments and probe a bit to see where they may be struggling. Remember, they aren’t likely to admit any problems, so you need to be a detective.

+ Offer assistance. If you see that they can benefit from help, offer it. They will most likely tell you that they can handle everything, so help may come in the form of assigning another employee to take on a lower level priority. This tactic succeeds in taking work off the overburdened employee while allowing her to stay focused on the more important task at hand.

+ Give recognition. You can say something as simple as expressing your gratitude for the hard work that they’re doing. Recognition is powerful and knowing that the boss appreciates the effort goes a long way.

Leaders need to protect their high performing employees. It’s easy to ignore them since they are self-starting and accountable. But it is precisely because of this that you can’t take advantage….they need some care and feeding, too.

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