Engage top employees with merit increases

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A new study by Leadership IQ has revealed some surprising results about performance management and top employees - at nearly 42 percent of companies, the most successful employees are the least engaged. While high-achieving staffers may be bringing in revenues for companies, boredom is running rampant in the American office, as people feel disconnected and unmotivated. Interestingly, the same study found that low-performers are the most engaged members of a team, although they may be under the impression that they are better at their jobs than they truly are. These results point to a disconnect between workers and their superiors, who are infrequently aware of this problem. Mark Murphy, CEO of Leadership IQ, told Forbes that companies should be worried about these results, as the best employees tend to succeed when they feel challenged and involved. For businesses looking to make changes and engage staff members, Murphy stresses the importance of transparency, strong leadership and recognition. Murphy calls for a better system that he calls "meritocratic accountability," in which high-performers are recognized with merit increases and praise. In order to increase engagement, VPs of sales can hold monthly meetings with middle and top salespeople to make them feel valued, and as a way to assess performance and discuss the possibility of merit increases. To increase excitement about a job, VPs of sales can implement competitions which reward winners with merit compensation. The impressive levels of engagement reported by less successful employees, meanwhile, is not necessarily a bad thing. With guidance from superiors, they can learn to channel their excitement into higher sales numbers. Seeing that merit increases and praise await them when they improve their sales can be an extremely effective motivation technique, so long as it comes in conjunction with transparent performance expectations and clear communication.

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