• Jim Canfield

Celebrate Success by Focusing on the Wins

Successful businesspeople do their best when they know that their work is yielding positive results, and it is important to recognize those outstanding contributions to the company. One of the key points in any company is to support winners—the people who produce the best results day after day, month after month, year after year, and spend time with them.

How to Spot a Winner

Winners in your organization shouldn’t be hard to identify. They’re the ones taking the extra steps to make sure your company excels. They could be a salesperson with the top sales rankings or a production manager whose lines have the best metrics year after year. They could even be a new account rep who is bringing in the most accounts. The winners are the ones who, no matter what the task or challenge, get it done and done well.

Recognizing Top Performers

It is vital to invest the most time with your top talent to ensure that they are providing optimum results. Be sure that your superstars know how much you appreciate their excellent work. One way to show appreciation is to write meaningful messages to recognize their hard work. For instance, the note could remind them how well they’re doing and how much you appreciate their extra efforts. Additionally, you can send a monthly message to the entire team to recognize these top performers and the team members who beat their own performance records that month.

When recognizing winners, however, make sure you are not creating an unhealthy and competitive work environment. It should go without saying that you should never pit co-workers against each other. Instead, only compare an employee to their own prior performance. And of course, you should never publicly call out underperformers.

Room for Improvement

While ideally, you should focus the majority of your time on the winners, you should still encourage the underperformers to improve. The best way to address an underperforming employee is to send the employee a short note of encouragement. Address that you know they might be having a tough time, but you are still confident that they will attain your goals. Also, tell them to discuss with their supervisor and figure out a way to get additional support. If handled properly, your underperformers will also work harder to raise their performance so that they, too, will be acknowledged.

The greatest gift you can give your people is your time and attention. Help your employees become winners and stay winners by giving them more of your time and attention but do it proportionately: a bit more time for winners, a good amount for top performers, and somewhat less for all others.


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