How to Keep Your Superstars Rocking

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Scenario: "Dude, every superstar we have keeps leaving. We give them money. Money! Why are they leaving? Ahh!" Don't think money keeps your people -- especially the superstars who are kicking booty for your company. When employees feel ignored, they experience emotional drainage -- and a sense of "How come they don't like my work?" syndrome, even if that's untrue. That quickly leads to burn out, and exits. Instead, your superstars want something more: recognition for their filthy hard, ridiculously sexy, and amazingly awesome work. Recognition keeps your superstars happy, content, and ready to kick more butt -- because hey: More great work = more appreciation and recognition.

Avoid the Common Management Trap

How most companies treat their employees:

  1. "Katie, write a proposal for Client Cassie."
  2. Katie kicks butt writing the proposal.
  3. "Katie, prepare the financial docs."
  4. Katie kicks booty preparing the docs.
  5. "Katie, design brochures for Client Billy."
  6. Katie kicks ass designing the brochures.
  7. "Katie, ...."
  8. Katie's gone, homey.

Uh-oh.

Why Under-Appreciation Sucks

Think back to your worst job experience. Chances are:

  1. You worked your butt off at the beginning of your job.
  2. That sucka-of-a-boss ignored your ridiculously hard work.
  3. The boss focused on a hundred more to-dos for your behind.

Eventually, you reached a breaking point -- and likely (1) slacked-off, or (2) quit. According to Wharton's Sigal Barsade,

Employees may need to mask their true emotional reaction regarding how their organization treats them while they assist their clients. This masking and suppressing could increase emotional exhaustion, a major component of burnout studied in the human services industry.

Superstars, instead, need refueling through praise and recognition.

Recognition Keeps Your Superstars Ticking

A secret sauce we use: We recognize, appreciate, and freakishly praise -- or, try to anyway -- every little-bitty good work from our superstars. Whether that's solving a customer inquiry, cleaning a patch of code, or organizing some little document -- positive reinforcement gets our superstars kicking butt in every aspect, continuously. Think of appreciation as refueling your superstars. Otherwise, you'd slowly dissipate their energy and motivation -- and drive them toward the exit doors. The template to get you started:

"Katie, you are a badass. I loved how you rocked this sucka: __________, and __________, and __________. You're having a major impact on our clients. You're freakin' insane. Thanks, playa."

 

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Posted on November 20

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