How Can I Help my High Achievers to Feel Uniquely Valuable?

High achievers can be challenged with increased responsibility, access to new assignments, new training, and job rotation. Look at a high achiever's position and the associated tasks. How can they be changed to make the position an opportunity for growth? Redesigning the work may satisfy the needs not only of the high achiever but also of your organization. Skills improve along with knowledge of the organization, which can stimulate ideas for more efficient or effective operations. Work redesign or enrichment is a particularly appropriate motivational tool for high achievers since their capabilities can enable them to succeed in assignments that may daunt or overwhelm average performers.

Consider job rotation where it is feasible to present the employee with more opportunity to learn. Today's leaner organizations no longer have the kinds of management development initiatives that once existed, but you can fashion a management development assignment tailored to the needs of the individual.

Assignments outside the organization should also be considered. "On loan" support to the community, for instance, can provide experience not available in the workplace and help strengthen your company's relationship with the community.

Based on these special assignments, you may discover the employee needs some training. Training is another valuable perk that can be used to motivate.

Finally, you might want to have one of your peers or, better yet, a senior executive act as mentor. If the chemistry between the mentor and high-achieving protégé is good, the positive relationship between the two not only will help the high achiever grow professionally but also will tie your high achiever to your organization in a way that can benefit your organization as he or she continues to contribute to its success over time.