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Keep high-performance members engaged with stretch goals

Employees who raise the bar need to be pushed with special projects and recognized for their achievements


High-performance members possess the ability to navigate the transition from individual all-star performer to effective team leader, organizational head and beyond.

Photo/Newton Fire/EMS Department

By Scott Metzler

It’s no secret that some of your members are better at their jobs than others. Every organization has those emerging leaders who raise the bar for everyone around them. If you can manage to keep them engaged, they’ll probably end up running the place someday.

High-performers are willing to do what it takes to get the job done, and they have the ability to do it while bringing others along with them. They produce results and elevate everyone involved.

The problem: High-potential members are at a high risk of disillusionment and burnout when they feel their contributions aren’t appropriately rewarded or appreciated.

One strategy to help high-potential members remain engaged is for senior leaders to create meaningful opportunities for high-potential members to exercise leadership without becoming someone’s boss right away. These leadership opportunities might look like special projects or particularly sticky challenges that have been waiting for just the right person to pick them up.

Matching stretch goals with high-potential members’ gifts and talents is a great way for senior leaders to help these members get back in the saddle after a missed promotional opportunity or some other organizational setback.

Read more: High-potential employees: Emerging leaders on the move