Managing Performance – High Performers

Posted November 13th, 2013

High performers stand out in any organisation. They consistently exceed expectations, and are management’s go-to people for difficult projects because they have a track record of getting the job done. However, managing high performers presents a different set of challenges in itself. Just because you often find your high performers working independently, with little need for direction or supervision, it does not mean that you can just leave them to it.

Just as with average performers, it is important to understand and appreciate the values and motivation of high performers. Only by doing this will you be able to effectively manage their work and ensure you consistently get the most out of them. You should also set clear boundaries and outcomes for the high performer who will need to be clear how they should approach work that they are likely to do quite independently.
Some of the key tips on guiding high performers are…
  • Give lots of feedback as to desired outcomes. Then allow the high performer to work towards these targets without too much input from yourself although still allowing for opportunities to review how they are progressing.
  • Let the high performer know the boundaries within which you expect them to work. It’s ok for them to strive to do things differently in order to be more effective, but this should not be at the expense of processes and procedures.
  • High Performers want to be inspired by the leadership, not managed. Try not to micro-manage their work and get in the way of their progress.
  • Encourage the high performer to work with others. Not only sharing their expertise, but also understanding the challenges others face. A high performer should be prepared to collaborate with others to drive results.
  • Be prepared to challenge high performers – You can do this by providing new opportunities or projects to get involved in. This
    will help keep them engaged with the organisation and reduce the chance that they will get bored.
  • Praise, but don’t over-praise. Of course the high performer needs and deserves praise. However, if this is overdone it can lead to the high performer over-valuing their worth and becoming complacent. It can also build feelings of resentment within the team, which leads to poor performance in others.

This is a short excerpt from the Trainer Bubble training course materials for ‘Managing Performance’, which you can purchase from our website at



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