Managing Your Stars

"Stars" are people within your team who consistently turn in good performance; they are your high flyers. The problems that these stars present at performance review time are different from the issues posed by employees who are under-performers or “stuck” performers.

Managing your stars' performance is not about how to tease out even more of the same from them (that is already happening) but about how to retain and develop them. Here are 7 approaches you can use to manage stars.

1. Develop Them Horizontally
If the "Star" within your team has reached a peak in their very own line of work, and there’s nowhere above them for them to go, you could move them sideways to learn about other roles.

2. Aim For A Lot More “Moments of Excellence”
It is rare for even stars to perform at optimum levels all of the time. The aim should be to make those moments of excellence the norm as opposed to the exception. In appraising stars, focus on areas where things do not really work and how they can do well even in these areas.

3. Prepare Them For the Next Step Up
Stars are those who have reached a high level of competency in their current job. Extending their expertise upwards, via planned training and delegation, prepares them for the next job up the ladder and also helps them develop their personal and “soft skills” expertise, for example leadership skills and teamwork.

4. Add Excellent to Competence
When somebody can do a job well, there is competence. Once they can do it nicely for other people, there’s service. When they can do it the way somebody else desires, there’s good quality. Turn your top performing stars into quality experts.

5. Spread the Expertise
A star can be a beneficial resource in any organisation. The wise manager will use them not just to get excellent performance from them but to extend their expertise to others inside the team. You can actually do this through utilising your stars as coaches, role models, and mentors.

6. Let Them Take More Risks
When your star has mastered the skills of their current job, you can afford to let them take more risks. Encourage them to be innovative and to suggest new ideas.

7. Place Them At the Leading Edge
Use your stars to work at the leading edge of things, suggesting exactly where you, your team and your organisation can improve. Let them manage projects that will try out new approaches to deliver an even better service.

For more advice on managing different types of people why not attend one of our specialist management training courses?