- High performers are called just that for a reason, according to a new study by VitalSmarts, a training platform. Employees in the study who scored nine out of 10 on a performance scale produced 61% of their departments' work.
- The study of 1,594 hiring managers and employees also found that high performers were three times as valuable to their organizations as their coworkers. They also handled stress better, regardless of the high workload or level of productivity.
- Key traits of high performers, according to the study, include the ability to manage time, attend to details, ask for help, prioritize and stay on top of their work.
Employers can expect a high return on their investment in employees they identify as their top performers. Not every employee will be a "superstar," but organizations can create a high-performance work environment in which employees are engaged, feel respected, have some control over their work and are recognized for their achievements.
Are high-performers made or are they naturally exceptional? Surely, the answer varies on an individual basis. It's possible that high performers once had a manager that taught them how to manage stress or prioritize their workload. Since employee engagement is a key managerial responsibility, boosting workers' performance starts with preparing managers for this role. An investment in developing effective managers is an investment in employees.
One reason high performers might be better able to handle stress is their tendency to take more time off than their coworkers. Stress and burnout seriously impede productivity. Another study, HR Mythbusters 2017, found that high performers take, on average, 19 days off, compared with 14 days for low performers.
Since high-performers are often an organization's future leaders, retaining them should be a priority. Businesses with $80 million in annual revenues lose between $10 million and $15 million a year when top performers leave, according to Erik Van Vulpen, founder of Analytics in HR.