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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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Ballast Point Ventures

Ballast Point Ventures is a later-stage venture capital fund established to provide expansion capital for rapidly growing, privately owned companies in diverse industries, with a particular emphasis on companies located in Florida, the Southeast, and Texas. The BPV partners have more than 70 years of combined experience investing in and building high-growth companies in a number of industries, including healthcare, business services, communications, technology, financial services, and consumer goods. BPV has $200 million under management and seeks to make equity investments ranging from $3 million to $10 million.

Harbert Management Corporation

Harbert Management Corporation seeks to generate superior returns for their investors by identifying and investing in the most promising early growth stage companies in the Southeastern U.S. HMC seeks to capitalize on what it believes are compelling regional dynamics, such as a strong and fast-growing economy, significant research and development activities, and an established entrepreneurial community. The HMC team combines substantial investment, advisory, and operating experience with capital and networking contacts to support great entrepreneurial teams in successfully executing their growth plans. With offices in Birmingham, Alabama; Richmond, Virginia; and Gainesville, Florida, it’s well positioned to partner with entrepreneurs throughout the Southeast.

KBH Ventures

KBH Ventures was an early investor in Iconixx Software. KBH's investment philosophy plays a significant role in the firm's successful track record. KBH believes in running businesses to be cashflow positive and profitable every month. Startups and companies in a startup mode, such as one that has been purchased in distress, are expected to generate revenue within the first six months and reach profitability within the first 12 to 18 months. KBH also only invests in or acquires companies that are in the startup phase or have less than $20 million in revenues. KBH targets technology companies that offer business-to-business services.

S3 Ventures

S3 Ventures is an early expansion and growth stage venture firm with $200 million under management. It’s focused on information technology solutions that solve large business problems. S3 also invests in medical devices that improve the human condition. S3 invests in category-defining opportunities. It partners with the team and help focus methodically on what it takes to build a successful company. S3 today helps talented entrepreneurs take their technology and market knowledge and form valuable businesses in a repeatable fashion. Investment sizes start at several million or more for Series A, B, and C financing.