Your company is only as good as the people working for it. Finding the right talent, however, is only half the equation. I can personally attest that leaders also need to keep top employees motivated and avoid demoralizing mistakes if they want them to stick around.
Read on for some common leadership mistakes you should avoid, and what you can do instead to keep your team happy and productive:
Overworking your best employees
It’s a smart idea to give top-performers more responsibility and higher-level work. However, you shouldn’t make the fatal error of confusing responsibility with a bigger workload.
Although it’s tempting to “reward” great workers with more and more work, they’ll quickly get burnt out and find safe haven at a more reasonable employer. While your top performers should get more responsibility, it needs to be kept in proportion. You can offload the boring tasks to other employees (or make your star player a manager), to ensure they actually have room for new exciting projects.
Failing to recognize good work
Do you remember how special you felt when your teacher put a gold star sticker on your assignment in elementary school? Just because we are adults it doesn’t mean that we are over the gold star.
Do not underestimate the significance and influence that a pat on the back can have, especially with your top performers who are giving it their all.
Rewarding wins along the way shows that you are paying attention and that their efforts are being noticed. We get it that you can’t give out a raise every time someone accomplishes a goal, but calling a one-on-one to give a thank-you or publically recognizing an accomplishment in an all-staff meeting may just be the motivation that these top-performers need to keep at it.
If you hire the right talent and start working on building trust from day one, you should be able to let your team make their own decisions and bring suggestions and new ideas to the table. Employees that feel empowered to accomplish tasks on their own will be more motivated to take ownership of projects. “Excellent managers encourage their employees to be independent, make sound decisions and take on extra responsibility” (Entrepreneur).