When you look at your topmost performing employees, they are generally high achievers. From the outside, these high achievers look like they have everything in control, every step that they take is planned, premeditated, and the work that they deliver is always high-quality and gives you the best results. But that’s not necessarily how they function on the inside. High achievers are often the kind of people that struggle the most not only with their own performance but also with their personal lives and mental health. You may not necessarily see it because most of the time, they struggle in silence. Employers should pay heavy attention to the topmost performing employees to ensure they do not burn out thereby ensuring that they perform optimally at a constant level .
How Do You Identify High Achievers?
There are several steps that can be taken to avoid the aforementioned burnout. Before this, it is imperative that employers recognize which employees from all of the various teams and departments are the high achievers. Here are some of the character traits you can look for:
1. They always try to be the person to get any and every job done
Whether it be part of their job description or not they will try and be willing to put as much effort into getting the objective met and making sure that they develop their expertise beyond what is expected. The goal is to become the go-to person for all tasks.
2. They are natural leaders
High achievers will make sure to take charge easily and will also take the necessary steps to make sure that the team members are able to achieve their goals either by giving them advice or helping them.
3. They have an incredibly positive mindset
They will remain in a constantly motivated state, their positivity will also be used to motivate others and it is the same positivity that pushes them to power through any sort of hindrance when it comes to achieving their goals. Nothing will demotivate them from completing their tasks
4. They are very disciplined and focused.
You will often see them working for long hours not being distracted by anything or anybody. They will also stick to a routine, often getting upset when not being able to maintain said routine.
5. They are highly competitive.
One of the most detrimental characteristics is that high achievers can be extremely competitive. While some competitive spirit is of course required to help push the team to achieve great things, intense competitiveness can cause more harm than good and oftentimes puts a lot of stress on the group and the individual themselves.
How Do You Manage High Achievers?
1. Make sure expectations are clear
In terms of what an individual can accomplish, there is infinite opportunity. However, this shouldn’t be the case. Make it clear to them what you expect from them and how their performance will be measured. Design their KPIs to be as specific as possible so they know exactly what is to be achieved within a specific date range/time limit. Add an extra layer of clarification by designing their recognitions according to their KPIs. Use an employee recognition platform that allows you to automate customized recognitions so they are recognized rewarded for achieving the specific goals.
2. Keep changing it up
The more uniform and mundane a job is the more reason for burn out. Whilst job descriptions may remain the same, there is always scope for creativity and trying new things. Try to change up the objectives as well as projects so that your employees are always experiencing something new. The more challenging the work the more they will be focused on learning and growing and the less they will be focused on over achieving.
3. Simplify processes
High achievers generally tend to overcomplicate things. The way they execute the project will be high focused towards the need to be a perfectionist. Simplicity when it comes to strategies can often be the best approach. Run regular audits on processes to make sure that there or no unnecessary functions that could hamper growth or moving the needle.
4. Keep things singular
For higher achievers, achieving success is generally connected to a lot of different things. For them, success is making sure that they have achieved several different things on several different levels and everything is connected. So if they are not doing well in one aspect they are not doing well in all aspects. One of the best ways to overcome this is by making sure to design a recognitions program that singularly recognizes each and every aspect of their job requirements. An employee recognition platform can help you do this, automate it, as well as keep track of progress in real time. It can be hard to separate each and every achievement however it can be done. These recognitions can also be created based on each individual is KPIs (as mentioned earlier) and the clearer their KPIs are the clearer their recognitions can also be.
5. Provide mental health support.
The major characteristics that make a person a high achiever are also the ones that tend to cause the most unhealthy mental issues. They tend to work so much that they generally don’t have enough energy to put into developing relationships with other individuals. Their need to not ask for help generally isolates them from others. Their need to be the go-to person to get the job done often entails that they do the tasks that originally are to be done by others. This can also hamper their relationship with other others.
Provide different channels of support whether it be giving them access to a mental health expert within the office or financial support to go and seek help outside the office. Assign mentors to guide them through tricky situations and to lend a helping hand whenever required. The objective is to help them find the right kind of support system so they have someone to confide in and to get advice from when things get difficult.
It is very important for high achievers to not only maintain a constant level of productivity at work but also make sure to have a solid sense of self-worth that is a product of not only their large achievements but also the smaller wins on a day-to-day basis. While recognitions do help to give a certain amount of external validation, a lot of it does come from the hard work put in on an internal level. Employers can help them do this by making sure that they have the necessary support that will help them maintain a separation between the professional, personal goals as well as maintain a healthy mental state so that they can thrive.