You have a group of employees who are moving up the career ladder, but how do you differentiate the top employees from the mediocre? It can be more difficult than you might think. Identifying the real rock stars takes insider knowledge, a fully developed understanding of the team dynamic, as well as insight into the quality of the work product. If you are looking to decipher who is a top performer and potential leader – whether for promotion purposes or general understanding – today’s article will outline the key indicators that can help identify your rock stars.
Taking On Challenging Projects
Your rising stars will want to challenge themselves with the hardest projects that require the most teamwork to accomplish the end goals. This requires a certain fearlessness and desire to develop their own skills beyond what they might currently exhibit on a regular basis. Top performers are eager to test their abilities, challenge themselves, and work with others to accomplish their goals. Their ability to stay calm and organized under pressure is a great sign of leadership and self direction.
Requesting and Incorporating Feedback
Top performers will also regularly solicit input and feedback on their work efforts in order to better understand what is expected and what they can do to improve. The ability to accept criticism and learn from the feedback of others is critical to personal and professional growth. Maintaining a certain authenticity through this process is also a great trait for potential leadership to have. These individuals lead by example and are able to motivate their team to rise to the challenge and commit to certain goals. They understand their professional strengths and are able to find people to complement their weaknesses.
Employees who are able to get buy in and support from their team members are a natural pick for future leadership. They have good people skills and larger professional networks than the average employee might have. These people are often able to rely on their network of contacts to help them work through any challenges or just for general support. While they don’t necessarily need to be extroverts, they are able to connect on a genuine level with other employees and inspire action and support.
Taking on challenging projects and motivating others are important signs of top-performing employees, but another trait that is very common is a preference for self direction. This must be balanced by the ability to work well with a team and to understand management-level goals. That said, the desire for the autonomy to make decisions based on their unique perspective and strengths is something that sets your top employees apart from the herd. This also offers real-world learning opportunities and challenges that can help build leadership and management skills. With a focus on quality decision-making and the ability to take responsibility for mistakes helps differentiate the rock stars from the employees who are just working for a paycheck.
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