Reward high flyer employees. Terminate dead woods. Either is not easy to do if there is no clear policy on how these matters are treated.
Reward High Flyers
In many cases, good performers do not get the recognition for their competence and performance which contribute much to the profitability of the organization. Sometimes, many are not duly rewarded for excellent performance. Instead, they are given more tasks that bring them to breaking points.
If good performers are treated this way, they will bring down their performance standard to the level of the average performers. They do not see any good reason to continue performing well.
Recognize high flyer employees for what they are and give rewards that include:
More prestigious and responsible positions that will develop them further for higher positions
Some form of Financial Incentive
Giving any of these rewards presupposes that the employees continue to perform at their best. And they are expected to improve some more. It is reasonable to believe that you do not have to worry much if there is an effective system that can identify the genuine "high flyers."
Position of Dead Wood Employees
Both high flyer employees and dead woods have diverse but different effects on the organization.
Due to the negative influence of dead wood employees, you need to take timely action.
I had had this experience of a manager who believed in a policy of looking after good employees and letting poor performers or non-performers tag along.
The problem is you cannot afford to have free riders. This does not help the morale of other employees. It is not good for your organization.
However, terminating non-performers or poor performers is easier said than done. It is even harder if the employees are union members.
In the case of a unionized workplace, the collective agreement must contain a term on termination of employees for cause including poor and non-performance.
Handle termination of employees with caution. Seek the help of legal people. Follow procedures and relevant laws.
Promotion As A Reward
Promotion is one type of reward that can have far-reaching effects - on the promoted employees, the workforce as a whole and the organization.
This is why promoting someone is a serious matter. This is not something done to reward friendship or over-familiarity. Steer away from the allegation that employees are promoted based on "who they know, not what they know."
Clearly, selecting the right candidates for promotion is very important. If not done right, you may end up with someone who is just "warming the seat." On top of that someone else has to do the work left undone.
You may also know that that there is a point where people are incapable of performing higher level jobs. They have been promoted to a position of incompetence. It is believed that training can have limited effect.