While some individuals might have the talent, skills, and persistence to perform exceptionally well, often it’s the work of their team that helps bring outstanding results.
Think of the quarterback, lead singer, headline performer, top salesperson, or any individual able to operate within a given system to great personal advantage. Often these people receive repeated adulation and praise. Yet, there is nearly always a team taking care of the details and steps necessary for success to occur.
Most high performers maximize their time and are highly efficient with their contacts and follow-through. This is rarely, if ever, their work alone. They might be exceptional at tracking and intimately understanding the data specific to their success, but there is almost always someone else crunching the numbers or scouting out opportunities.
What Is Recognition and Who Gets Recognized?
A great team is integral to the success of a high performer. As a leader, you need to ask whether these important support individuals are receiving the recognition needed to entice them to stay. In a market where talent is at a premium, there is no room to overlook the contributions of those who underpin success! Authentic recognition is an important tool to retain these key team members.
In the world of professional football, quarterbacks know they need to take time and make an effort to recognize the work of offensive linemen. Doing so works to the quarterbacks’ own advantage as the offensive linemen protect them from injury, keeping them safe and better able to secure their next contract.
While this practice has yet to entirely find its way into the business world, taking care of the people who take care of high performers has tremendous potential to help your organization achieve higher levels of success.
It Goes Beyond 401K Match and Profit Sharing
A certain narrative can emerge among those in positions of authority. They might think that, “These people made a choice to work in these types of jobs. They are paid an hourly wage and do not experience the same pressure to produce as those who are more highly compensated. Therefore, the wages they earn are recognition enough for their contributions.”
While it is true that these team members do not experience the same level of pressure from clients, they do have internal pressure imposed upon them from high performers, including pressure to provide necessary information.
A common refrain in the business world is that compensation follows when value is created. This is only partly true. When high performers can leverage the work of others to enhance their ability to perform, they routinely produce at higher levels. Inequitable recognition for all the work contributing to success can cause a strong undercurrent of disenchantment to develop.
Invest your time into recognizing those in support roles. It’s well worth the effort.
While most companies offer some form of profit sharing, or 401K plan, these benefits, while appreciated, are not a substitute for recognition. Instead, set an intention to share data on how well a team performed and specifically mention their contributions. When you do this, you’re demonstrating an entirely different level of awareness.
Including high performers in recognizing support people can also be helpful. Consider implementing a weekly meeting, involving all members of the team, where everyone can share which actions contributed to their collective success.
Why Do Team Members Choose to Stay?
People want to be on a good team, and they love being associated with winners. For example, there’s a vicarious connection that people draw to particular teams or performing groups through their affiliation as fans. An even stronger connection is possible when people are directly connected to the collective success of an enterprise.
When team members know they are valued and are subsequently recognized through team dinners, bonuses, perks, or even an authentic word of praise, they are much more likely to remain and provide their support.
Authentic recognition requires thoughtful consideration and time on your part. But, when you compare it to the amount of time involved in recruiting, hiring, onboarding, and enculturating a new team member, it’s well worth the investment.
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Tim, with his extensive background in education and management, is a great part of our Fired Up! team dedicated to inspiring teams and leaders. At Fired Up!, our work is dedicated to harnessing the power of culture to equip leaders, build amazing teams, and align operation practices to engage organizations and drive breakthrough results.