This is a guest blog post by David Mizne from 15five.
How to Identify High-Performing Employees and Enjoy Mutual Success
When companies seek to improve performance and productivity, they need to know what it is they’re looking for. They can start right in their own backyard, assessing staff performers who have consistently gone above and beyond their peers in achieving their work objectives.
Finding the best people to inspire and create, lead and follow, and produce and achieve will lead to higher employee engagement, lower turnover, and increased productivity rates. To find these high performing staff members, employers should keep an eye out for the following characteristics:
High-performers Ask Questions
Excellent employees ask questions that demand answers. They solicit information and data to discover what needs to be done in order to improve products and services – not just complete tasks.
They are confident enough to work independently, but value input from leadership and their peers. The critical feature that sets their questions apart is a focus on asking the right question, and not second-guessing themselves or others.
They Observe Activity
Having direct knowledge of a situation drives high-performers to find efficiencies in workflows and identify areas for improvement. Indeed, an entire field has grown up around the concept of “user experience” (UX), which seeks to optimize workflow to produce the best results for clients and customers.
A key component of a user experience strategy includes observing an audience, be it a customer, coworker, or website visitor, to better understand what the end-user needs. A high performing employee always keeps the audience in mind.
Great Employees Seek Opinions
Collaboration has enormous benefits in the workplace. Employees who know how to work together focus better on tasks and are more open to new ideas. A high-performing employee thrives on their interactions with other workers.
Team members inspire and motivate one another. The talented performer not only finds him- or herself in their element, but also inspires others to rise to greater challenges.
Talented Performers Try New Ideas
Experimentation in the workplace is gaining traction as a means of increasing productivity. Firms are establishing growth teams, for instance, that are tasked with developing new ideas. High- performing employees know that more than one approach can lead to success.
They also know that every process can be improved. Instead of relying on the tried and true, they push to do better. Exploring ideas sometimes leads to failures, which is exactly what a high-performer wants to know, too.
They Follow Through
One way employees become more engaged is by taking ownership of their work. Not content to just do their part and walk away, they remain dedicated to the success of projects throughout the development process. High-performers remain curious about their work, how it fits into an overall process, and whether it is contributing to the success of company needs and goals.
By understanding how high-performing employees are achieving within an enterprise, companies can use their work ethic and performance to develop engagement strategies for others. Better yet, looping an existing successful employee into this process can provide additional insights while showing that management recognizes their skills and value.