While good managers and HR personnel can recognize what makes an employee stand out in the most positive and negative of ways, what distinguishes an average worker from that top performer? Again, in some ways, easy to spot, but it’s worth considering the differences in terms of ROI: (monetary, efficiency, time). When you stop to take a look at the differences, it truly does come down to how they improve your company and make it run more smoothly. To use an education metaphor, consider the sometimes subtle but significant differences between a “C” and an “A” employee.

First of all, specific evidence exists that top performers outshine their co-workers: A study done in Personnel Psychology shows that, in specific firms researched, the top 5% of the workforce produced 26% of the firm’s total output. This meant they produced four times more than one would expect, or 400% more (26% instead of just 5%). Consider what this means for your bottom line and do what you can to bring on and cultivate that top 5%.

While “average” certainly does not mean “poor” in terms of quality of work, top performers do have some stand-out qualities that result in positive ROI for you.

  • They often have stellar resumes that include graduating summa cum laude, indicating a desire for high achievement and strong work ethic. Look as well to see if they rose quickly in the ranks at a previous job; this also demonstrates those two aforementioned qualities — and those translate into production for your company, which in turn helps lead to monetary gain.
  • A top employee has a solid grasp of time management, a trait that helps significantly with success on a small (individual) and large (company) scale: The person who can efficiently manage multiple projects and tasks will help with efficient output overall.
  • And time management only goes so far unless the employee also has ambition and a can-do attitude. They know their goals and figure out how to achieve them, often with little mentoring. In striving to improve performance, they become resourceful problem solvers and learn from their mistakes. Note that high performers tend to become trainers and mentors to the average employees, urging them to improve as well — this sort of positive ripple effect can have long-term effects as well with overall ROI in terms of quality of work, efficiency, and general productivity.
  • A top performer has ambition and dares to stand out. They know the status quo, and strive to go above and beyond. This employee takes initiative to go the extra mile and change expectations, rather than simply meeting those expectations. These top performing employees make positive changes and never settle for less than their best.

To help you reach your long-term goals, reach out to our expert recruiting team to help you find those top performers. PrideStaff Thousand Oaks’ staff is anything but average.

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