Updated: Sep 13, 2020
In my experience coaching and training thousands of leaders, one thing is clear: everyone needs feedback, even star performers. Managers often assume that if people are doing a good job, they don’t need feedback.
The need for feedback is evident even with the most senior executives with whom I work. When left without feedback, the message the manager might be intending to send is, "You are doing great, and you don't need my help." But the message that is often received is, "You aren't worth my time."
Some managers assume star employees don't need feedback. They're doing a good job, and they don't need you wasting their time, right? Wrong. Even your top performers need words of encouragement and direction to stay motivated, focused, and engaged.
Give your high performers both positive and negative feedback, including:
Tell them how much you appreciate their outstanding work.
Identify and share development areas.
Discuss with them how they might attain the next level.
Ask them what skills they have that are not being utilized.
Don't miss the opportunity to ask how you are doing as a manager. Ask, "What else can I do to support you?", "What are the three things I do well as your manager?", and "What three things can I do better?"
Ask, "What can our organization do to support your great work?"