People Are The Most Important Asset

Driving performance from your people

High-performing  workers tend to be self-motivated by intrinsic factors, adding to the difficulty of an employer to directly motivate them. Moreover, sometimes the complex nature of their work and output limits the ability to directly measure productivity. Simply keeping workers “satisfied” won’t suffice. In order to retain and sustain high levels of engagement, companies need an explicit strategy and cannot rely upon historical sources of motivation. Traditional sources of motivation like pay, work conditions, and benefits are simply not enough.

Most high-performing, knowledge-intensive organisations exhibit a consistent talent distribution. Typically, 15-20% of the workers are characterised as critical high-skill, high-will performers. Organisations striving to achieve and sustain high performance must not only focus on retaining those percentages, but also increasing the mix of high performers through engagement and motivation.

Challenging work

High performers achieve optimal productivity when they are involved in meaningful, relevant, value-added work. Not only does challenging work keep high levels of motivation, it also makes sure those high performers do not think on “other” bigger challenges outside of work.

Freedom in Time Management

A high lever performer usually knows how to organise his schedule and in order to make sure high freedom levels are kept, avoid non-productive follow up meetings unless they are absolutely necessary.


Adequate compensation and benefits that meet the specific motivation type of a high level performer. There are 2 main types of motivation:

  • Towards (‘Carrot’) – This means that the performer will only be motivated by towards goals such as increase in sales, bonus etc.
  • Away From (‘Stick’)– This means that the performer will only be motivated by going away from something. For example: Away from cut down in the team, Away from computer malfunctions etc. Make sure the incentive for those employees will include this important factor.

Performance measures

High performers need to be part of a well-known (and agreed upon) measurement system that recognises their contribution, which in turn is used as a basis for promotion and compensation.

Recognition and accountability

High performers need to be regularly recognised for their contribution and be held accountable to high standards of output and productivity. This basically means that feedback is a must for making sure the high level performer knows that what he/she is doing matters.

Meaningful relationships

A collaborative culture characterised by strong relationships, communication, and cooperation through all levels of an organisation.

Clearly, for most organisations, people are the most important asset. The current global changes in the market requires organisations to adapt and extend traditional talent approaches. Organisations striving to sustain high performance must have an explicit strategy that attracts talent as well as ensures retention, engagement, and motivation.