The leaders in your organization, Quint Studer author of Results That Last notes, should meet one-on-one with each of their employees to provide detailed behavioral performance feedback. He suggests that the leaders meet first with the higher performers, the middle level performers next and finally the low performers. Behaviorally and psychologically, there are two reasons for this order. First, high performers make us all feel good about their work and performance and our own attitudes are bolstered by being with them. Second, high performers take less time to counsel and provide feedback than do the low performers.
Studer says that when talking with high performers we should be “recruiting to retain” them. Let them know how much you appreciate their work, tell them very specifically in behavioral terms when possible what value they bring to the organization and the customers and discuss what you can do to keep them engaged. Usually the answer to this question is more training, more opportunity, or more responsibility.
Middle level performers should be told clearly that you want to keep them onboard as well. Discuss with them professional development opportunities and your commitment to providing that. These middle performers will leave these meetings feeling great when the conversation is handled appropriately. They know they are wanted and valued, and that they have an organization and leadership that is committed to their development.
With high and middle level performers focus your conversations about their performance on supporting them, coaching them and then reassuring them with more support.