In the past, your top employee has always worked circles around the rest of the team. This person was constantly filled with great ideas and seemed to have a true passion for the job. However, things have recently changed and your star worker is now producing mediocre work — at best.
A change this monumental doesn’t happen for no reason, so you need to get to the bottom of it immediately, before it becomes permanent. There’s a very good chance one of the reasons below is fueling your best worker’s discontent.
Work Becomes Monotonous
The best and brightest employees thrive when challenged. These ambitious professionals enjoy interesting work that really makes them think. If you’ve been giving your top employee easy tasks they could do in their sleep, they’re probably just bored. Jumpstart their productivity by assigning the kind of stimulating work they crave.
Lack of Performance Recognition
When you know a certain employee always exceeds expectations, it’s easy to inadvertently take them for granted. If you rarely acknowledge the person’s efforts or thank them for a job well done, this is likely taking a toll on their performance. Setting aside a few minutes to recognize the employee’s consistently impressive work is likely all it will take to make them feel valued, thus boosting their performance level back to normal standards.
Top employees are passionate about their work, but they still need to earn a living. If you can’t remember the last time you gave the person a raise, there’s a good chance they’re feeling undervalued. Staying motivated can be very difficult when you’re well aware you’re grotesquely underpaid. Evaluate the person’s salary and if you determine it’s below average, give them a raise. If you can’t afford to offer more money, work a few coveted perks into their job to sweeten the deal. Talented people can find work anywhere, so if you don’t take action, the person will head elsewhere.
No Work/Life Balance
No one can work all the time and be happy about it. Even your more dedicated employees need free time to enjoy a balanced lifestyle. Carefully evaluate the total number of hours the person is working — both at the office and at home. If the amount of time they’re putting in is excessive, delegate some of their tasks to the rest of the team or hire a new employee to assist. The impact of being overworked is already showing, so imagine what the situation will be a couple months from now if you don’t step in.
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