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Recognising your middle performers is critical

Recognise your middle performers if yo improve you want to improve your business.

I had an interesting conversation recently with some senior people from a highly regarded TAFE that had lost a little of its shine over the past two or three years.

The issue of staff motivation, retention and engagement came up and we started highlighting areas where recognition could add significant benefits to the institution. This was not difficult.

However, it quickly became apparent that there were three key groups working in the TAFE. There were the highly motivated (20%), the middle performers (70%) and the low performers (10%).

The highly motivated performers are easy to recognise and reward. They will work hard regardless of recognition or reward, but you should not ignore them.

When we started to discuss the middle performers, one of the participants said that many of these people, academics who are vital to the smooth running of the organisation, would not be motivated by rewards. However, they take great pride in receiving recognition from colleagues for the important roles they play as unsung heroes, and it is critical that there should be a focus on these middle performers in any organisation. In the case of this TAFE, recognition was more important than reward. For them, the “Teacher of the Month or Year” accolade was a highly prized reward in itself.

In commercial organisations, recognition with motivational rewards could move some of your middle performers towards the more motivated end of the spectrum.

Whatever your business, your middle performers are likely to represent 70-80% of the bell curve – and these people who come to work every day and get their job done without fuss – are critical to the success of your organisation. Recognising them for their efforts and contribution should not be overlooked or considered lightly. Just saying thank you would be a great place to start the recognition process and will help you to retain a significant percentage of your staff.

Imagine what an increase in performance of these people by 2.5% would do for your business.

Global consulting organisations such as Gallup are predicting that post Covid we will see the years of “talent wars” as many employees (up to 50%) look to move on from their current role, having waited during the pandemic as a form of security.

Implementing a strategy around a Culture of Appreciation to aid talent retention and attraction is critical to businesses looking to become an employer of choice and compete in the war for talent.

If staff turnover is an issue for you, please take a minute to complete the form on the link below to see what it is costing you to replace your lost talent.

The message that I took away from the TAFE meeting was that your middle tier performers make it easy for your stars to shine.

How you recognise and reward them for their efforts and achievements is important. After all, if you don’t value your employees your competitors will.

Tony Delaney, CEO Brownie Points

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