Friday, July 31st, 2015

Most organisations spend their precious resources such as time and money on lifting the skills of their poor performers at the risk of neglecting their top performers who may be contributing greatly to the organisation. As a result, these top performers can be left feeling neglected, unappreciated and uninspired to do better.

Unmotivated and unengaged employees are costly to business in unrealised productivity, so here are top five ways to motivate and inspire your top performers and avoid the trap!

Identify who your top performers are

Firstly you need to identify your top performers, we have all seen them completing their tasks with a smile, consistently achieving their goals, always having that extra energy in everyday life, very likable and efficient.  When you have identified these performers take the time to understand what motivates them.  Find out what they do outside of work to get a real understanding of these individuals.

Understand what motivates them

Not all rewards are seen as rewards.  A trip to the Himalayas for the employee who achieves the best sales figures may not necessarily be a motivating reward for someone with a family of four with young children. Ask your staff what they would like as a reward - you will probably find it is less costly and complex than you had expected.

Inspire them

Your top performers might not need as much ‘core training’ as their team mates yet they will benefit from exposure to successful and / or inspirational people.  There are plenty of wonderful inspiring and talented personalities who provide presentations to groups.  Consider coaching and leadership training for these top performers.

Praise often

I once came across this sage piece of advice about high-performing staff, “just because they can do the job with their eyes closed, does not mean that they don’t like a little praise every now and then.” The praise needs to be sincere and not just another ‘pat on the back’. If the cash motivations aren’t an option for the business, find other creative ways of rewarding your top performers. Give your star employees extra days off, or their choice of office real estate such as a nicer cubicle or working space. Another option is inviting them to attend a management meeting for up-close and personal recognition as a low cost alternative.

Combat boredom

Boredom in employees is detrimental to companies – it lowers productivity and leads to resignations. Ensure your high performers remain challenged and engaged at work by combatting boredom. This can be achieved through allowing staff to cross train in other departments that may be of interest or involve them in the decision-making process such as participating in a team brainstorm. Give them opportunities to collaborate and work in a team environment.

Samuel Day is Managing Director of Happening People, which provides organisational development strategies and people management consulting to Australia’s leading businesses and executive leaders. For more people management tips, visit

Contact Profile

Happening People

HAPPENING PEOPLE was founded by Samuel Day in 1996. Since that time it consulted with 25% of Australia's Top 100 companies over the past 15 years. Today more than 1 in every 500 working Australians has attended a Happening People corporate training program in topics such as; Solutions Selling Skills, Customer Service, Performance Management and Leadership.

Happening People helps clients take control of their performance and that of their people by understanding the needs of the client and tailoring a specific learning program to achieve greater performance.

More information is available at

Samuel Day
P: 61 412228124


corporate training, high performing team, performance management, leadership, people management



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