Bringing Star Employees Down to Earth

Even star employees sometimes turn in sub-par work, alienate clients or cause workplace friction. Righting their course can be difficult because they probably know they’re stars. Here’s how “The Motivational Manager” newsletter suggests you proceed:

1. Prepare your approach. Write down the changes you want the employee to make and the reasons they should be made. Use concrete explanations for the necessary improvements, such as “Keeping other employees waiting costs everyone money.”

2. Watch your language. You might assume that top performers can handle criticism better than others, but don’t insult or attack them, even if you couch your words in a humorous tone.

3. Appeal to a higher standard. Let the star know you hold him to higher standards because of his track record. Appeal to his sense of pride and responsibility.

4. Focus on the future. Don’t dwell on mistakes. Emphasize the benefits of making a change.