It is common for organizations and teams to lean on their all-stars to take them to new levels. That is to be expected. However, we often see that in organizations, the all-stars burn out the quickest. They are also the ones most poached, and they leave for bigger opportunities.
We understand that, because the all-stars are the employees you want to replicate. The all-stars are the ones that will always do the extra work. They take on that one extra project. They do one more client engagement. They go above and beyond.
It is important to recognize the value all-stars bring to your team and organization. I once worked with a vendor at Microsoft who was famous for burning out his top talent. He would just keep piling on more projects, more engagements, more talks, while leaving other team members who needed more help and development room to have work-life balance. It never took long for the all-stars to catch on, and eventually, another organization would whisk them away. It was common for the all-star to say: That was a great experience, and now I need more balance and control over what I work on.
I know for a fact that he wished more employees would stay and grow in different ways and bigger capacities, and yet, the conversations didn’t happen.
So I ask: How do you treat your all-stars? Do they feel they have the balance they desire? Do they have time to reflect and grow the way they want to? Are you having the conversation?
This week’s tip is to celebrate the all-stars on your team. To get started, who shows up every day with a stellar attitude? Who always chips in when others are slammed? Who brings new and inventive ideas to the table? Those are the people you want to recognize.
Here are some ideas:
- Ask what specific recognition they would most appreciate. Don’t assume that they want the verbal announcement. They may want some extra cash or the support to take some time off.
- Take them out to lunch. Pause and take time to talk about how they are doing as individuals. Although work will most likely be discussed, try to turn the focus on more personal goals and ask more about how they are.
- Give positive feedback. Take the time to give impactful feedback to the individual. Many people will give more superficial feedback like you are doing great or you rocked that project. Create more value by giving specific examples and share how they have personally and organizationally made a difference.
Who are you celebrating this week? And how?