Identifying top performers

As many of us re-enter the challenging and busy office environment of a post-pandemic world, employers may be wondering how to reengage their employees and ensure top talent continues to be developed.

Perhaps some of your top performers have reached burnout and are struggling to get back into the fast-paced face-to face world or perhaps there is a lack of passion and their former high standards have slipped following lockdown?

Whatever the situation, it is important that you remind your top performers how important they are and reassess what factors are important to the success of the business and the growth of each individual.

Only by identifying the goals of the business and that of the individual can you get everyone back on track.

A business’ performance is based on the performance of the team.

You may have heard the phrase “a chain is only as strong as its weakest link” which is very true. A business needs each person, each department, and each stage of every process to work in sync and at the same level to maintain the standards your customers expect.


Why do I want to identify the high performers?

There are many reasons why you want to identify the high performers in your business. The main one is this allows others to adopt the same standards, ensure job satisfaction to retain them and aid continual improvement.

What if I don’t identify a high performer?

A high performer may be held back by the performance of others and their true potential won’t be unleashed. You need to identify who your high performers are and what, how and why they do what they do.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs allows you to visualise a person’s journey throughout their career. If you follow this link it explains in more detail the correlation between what you can do and the motivation of the team and what a high performer may need.

The risks of not identifying a high performer are that they become demotivated, they focus on their own objectives and not those of the business and potentially leave.

How to identify high performers

What’s your vision and mission?

The first step is to understand what the business’ mission, vision and purpose is. We have a podcast on this here. The risk is we identify high performers as those who bring the most sales or who make the least errors, but those people may not match the intrinsic culture that you are aiming to achieve as a business.

We naturally find ourselves looking for others who display similar interests and personality traits as ourselves, which can also mask those who are high performers, so we need an objective way to spot these. Annual appraisals are a great way to do this if they are done correctly.

The Decision Matrix

We help business owners identify high performers by using a decision matrix. Watch a video of how to use this here . Once you understand the purpose of each role within your business along with the mission of your business you can start to use a decision matrix to score people against everything that is important to reach business goals.

Set targets

Set SMART targets (Specific – not wishy washy, Measurable – not subjective, Achievable – they can actually be met, Realistic – is this the right target for that level and Time sensitive – give a deadline). If your targets don’t fit the SMART pattern, they can be extremely demotivating. Holding regular one-to-ones to go through these will soon help you see who is achieving results. Allocating the responsibility to the team member to demonstrate and prove how they achieved them will also let you see how they interpret more behavioural type actions too.

 Motivational Mapping

Motivational Mapping is another exercise you can do to help retain high performers as you will understand what drives them and therefore how to get the best out of them. This is something a Robson Laidler business coach can do for you and your team.


The role of coaching and development in staff retention post-pandemic is crucial and Robson Laidler’s Mindshop accredited business advisors can help you recognise and acknowledge high performers in your business to get them back on track following lockdown and support your future growth.

Get in touch with our business accelerator team here who will happily go through things with you.