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Misplaced focus

For many managers responsible for looking after multiple people, it can feel natural to dedicate the majority of your attention to those in the greatest need.

Sometimes this is because these employees shout the loudest for your attention. At other times, it may be because you know they need the most help based on the work they produce, or their level of experience.

But this approach is flawed.

Whilst you may also have some incredibly competent people in your team, perhaps even some star-performers, you’d be foolish to think they don’t need you.

In fact, I’d argue that these are the people that you may want to focus MOST of your attention on.

In a busy workplace, we’re often geared to getting stuff off our plate. To achieving quick wins. To solving immediate problems, and getting the instant gratification that comes with it.

But if you ignore your best performers, you’re ignoring the greater, long-term benefits to your business.

Without your attention, your star performers may become disengaged, or worse – leave to go elsewhere.

Whilst they may not complain about anything, and seem to consistently get on quietly with their work and achieve great results, thinking they are totally happy and therefore can be left completely alone can be hugely detrimental.

Not least, this could prevent you from forming the effective manager <> employee relationship which is so important for their job satisfaction, as well as equipping you with the ability to give them direct feedback if and when you do need to.

Of course, top performers also won’t stick around for long if they are highly ambitious and realise that their talents could be appreciated at a higher level elsewhere.

I’m certainly not suggesting that you should stop helping those with greater “needs”. Though I am suggesting that you need to make sure you’re giving everyone on your team, including your top employees, the time they deserve in order to thrive.

Rather than only focusing on short-term issues, consider the overall potential of those in your team. Think about the positive impact they could have on your business in the long-term were you to help nurture their talents further.

By ensuring you commit time each week to check in with your best-performers, you’ll garner a more open, trusting relationship, get a feel for their short, mid and long-term ambitions, and make a plan to help them get to where they ultimately want to get to.

And with good talent so difficult to find in many industries, it’s far better that they do this within your company than a competitor, right?

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