5 Great Ways to Keep Your Super Stars

man-with-star-trophy.jpgWhen giving feedback to your superstar performers, the key issue to recognize is that the “no news is good news” feedback approach is not an effective management technique for handling them.

Too often we assume that these individuals know how much we value their contributions and we take the lazy approach to providing feedback: “You know you’re doing a good job.” Or worse: “Write your own performance review and I’ll sign it.” Sound familiar?

Here are some quick tips to more effectively discuss performance — and motivate — your top talent:

  1. Approach the discussion with the same preparation and attention to detail that you focus on team members with problem or growth opportunities. If they truly are valued by you and the organization, give them the thoughtfulness, respect, and time that they deserve.
  2. Recognize that the quickest way to encourage a top performer to start looking for a job elsewhere is to tell them: “there is nothing that you need to work on.” Based on our database of over 4 million leaders, the highest ranked behavior of our top performers is a commitment to self-improvement. These people want — and need — to learn and grow. Help them identify opportunities.
  3. Specify the value that these performers bring to you and to the organization. Express the cause and effect of their contributions/role in the organization and the appreciation that you personally feel.
  4. Be as honest as possible about future opportunities within the organization. Don’t commit beyond your span of control. It is better to be candid and maintain trust than to have these individuals’ base decisions on deals that you cannot keep.
  5. Recognize that as their leader, you have the greatest ability to retain these human assets. The number one factor that influences people’s intent to stay or leave a job is their satisfaction or dissatisfaction with their leader – so keep them challenged; provide them with ongoing feedback; and recognize/express your appreciation for their contributions.

Most importantly, recognize that you will have the most impact on their continued growth and satisfaction.



Marshall Goldsmith

Marshall Goldsmith

Marshall Goldsmith is an executive educator, coach and million-selling author of numerous books, including the New York Times bestsellers, MOJO and What Got You Here Won't Get You There, the Harold Longman Award winner for Business Book of the Year. He was recognized in 2011 as the most influential leadership thinker in the world by Thinkers50/HBR. In 2013, Marshall was recognized again as one of the top 10 Most Influential Management Thinkers in the World and the top-ranked executive coach at the bi-annual, global Thinkers50 ceremony in London.

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