Help Me! I Am A Performer At Work

Jul 28, 2017 1 Min Read


Does the heading sound familiar? Or are you thinking why on earth would a performer need any help; they are self-sufficient.

Quite the contrary, actually.

I have been in the corporate world for almost two decades now and this is my observation on the dilemma high performers’ face.

As a leader, you may have gone through a million methods; workshops, seminars, talks and coaching on how to handle non-performers or outliers as we call them. There is so much emphasis on these groups, which is not wrong all together, but what about the performer? Do they need any attention at all?

The performers in your team could be screaming out for help yet, their voices may be drowned in all the hustle and bustle of daily demands of the corporate world.

More often than not, leaders tend to ignore these passionate ones not because they don’t care but they assume that performers require very little assistance or attention. You would schedule to see them periodically only because you have to and not to add value.

I remember one of my staff saying, “I doubt my leader remembers that I exist in the team, I am only looked for when there is a need to complete a project or task and never hear from him again after that.”

Have you heard this before? You are lucky if your staff tells you this directly, because most of the time, they share their grievances with everybody in the office but you.

We all know that people don’t leave their jobs; they leave their managers.

Paying attention to the needs of performers will definitely lead to greater benefits for all parties involved.

Performers are people, the most complex of all creation and they come in a combination of multiple characteristics. It is an understatement to say people management is tough. However, it will be good to explore the multiple characters that you’d find at the workplace.

There are several tools available that can help leaders explore this area and if and when used right, it can surprise you and elevate the performance of your people. Be mindful that you have vested interest in this because their performance is your success – a feather in your hat.

One particular tool that is widely available on the Internet is known as personality profiling or personality profile test. There are many variations to this so feel free to find the most suitable one for your organisation.

People come in mainly four different categories;

  • The quiet, peaceful, loving and caring ones;
  • The wise, logical, need to see facts and figures;
  • The one who seeks limelight, the live wire and optimistic; and,
  • The go getter, the lightening rod, bold, dominating, decisive and fast

People could be a combination of these or have one dominant personality type at different phases – and events – of their lives.

The question is how do you handle each type and how do you motivate them to excel further.

Motivation could be different to each type, as the saying goes “one man’s meat is another man’s poison”

So, here’s a quick rundown on the four personalities that are commonly found at workplaces.


The lovey-dovey ones

These are your people who thrive on love, care and validation. You need to give them a pat on their shoulder every now and then. They will be offended when ignored but will not talk about it.

They rather bottle it up and eventually lose the will to perform. These are your quiet time bombs. You see them everywhere, they are the first ones to offer help, get involved in various projects and like to work in groups.

They are the emotional ones and you must acknowledge their emotions to win their hearts. These are the people you want to keep as they are your peacemakers and the willing hearts and hands that will get the work done. Just love them.


The logical ones

These are your most trusted watchmen. They are very logical and look out for facts and figures in everything. Numbers and data make a great deal to them. Motivate them by giving them specific details of their achievements. Their language revolves around numbers, percentages and data.
They would appreciate periodic reviews in writing with specific details of their achievements. When you are assigning a task to them, be specific of the kind of outcome you are looking for with loads of details on deadlines and percentages of improvement.
They are very structured and are always in the look-out for details. Just give them all the data available and put a smile on their face.


The live-wire

These are people who thrive on praises, applause and limelight. Praise them publicly. They are great promoters and it’s great to have them in the team as ambassadors. You need a diplomat to get things moving within the organisation – send the job their way and consider it done.

When they complete their tasks, mention it at meetings or announce it to others. If you are sending them a note, copy the team and the superiors and they will be delighted to do more for you.


The lightning rod

These are your movers and shakers. They are go getters who are bold and visionary. You are probably wondering, ff they are so good then what’s there to motivate?

They certainly need motivation too and theirs should come in the form of more challenges. Yes! You heard right. They thrive on challenges. Before they complete one task, they are already looking for new challenges. They get bored easily and monotony kills their enthusiasm.

They are the ones who want to be part of every project, taking the lead and making decisions. Grant them their wish and empower them to make decisions, lead a project and have a ready list of tasks that they can take on. They will do wonders when they receive the right motivation and would make great future leaders.

Motivation comes in various forms and monetary reward is just one of it. This is vital but not ultimate. There are other ways to motivate your people and the above are some of the tools or measures that you can put in place for your people, especially if they are high performers.

Remember! Your people may have all the skills to become performers but may lose the will to continue due to lack of the right type of motivation.

So do it right and go on to be a great leader. All the best!


Jecilla is a learning specialist with a leading local telecommunications company. She passionately explores the world of learning and facilitation. Aspire to inspire is her motto. To get in touch with Jecilla, e-mail


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