Are You Driving High Performers to Burnout?

I remember hosting a Diversity Training within the Cable Industry and had a conversation with the participants in the room that consisted of Managers and Supervisors.  I don’t recall how we came on the topic of high performers, but we ended up having a discussion about the “A” team and the “B.” 

Managers were highlighting their preference for some employees since these employees were reliable and will get the job done.  If they had a high priority issue, such as a customer had an installation of cable and numerous callbacks were made about the initial installation and attempted the repair, these managers will then send their best employees to ensure that the job was done accurately.  They believed, whether accurate or not, that these high performing employees will complete the job accurately, and the customer will not have to call back on the service request, thereby making their lives easier.

However, when you consistently utilize your high performing employees for every project what is the expense to the employee? What unnecessary burden do you put on your high performing employee when you use them all the time? 

Some of the challenges to your high performing employees can result in these employees becoming disgruntled since they are picking up the slack for the rest of the team, or they may feel that you treat then unfairly by giving them the toughest job, or experience anxiety from having to live up to your expectations on the many projects you volunteer them on.

Given the pressures that are bestowed on your high performing employees, wouldn't be easier to develop all team members to their full capacity thereby resulting in a team that performs exceptional and providing you with the ability to staff all jobs with exceptional employees.

Harvard’s latest article highlights the harm that is done to your high performing employees when you consistently utilize the same employee for projects.  These employees are at a high risk for burnout.  “A five-year study in the UK found that the mental health of 20% of the top-performing leaders of UK businesses is affected by corporate burnout.”

When staffing your next critical project or position, consider all employees and the skillset available on the team, review your high performing employees project load to ensure that you do not overburden them, and finally provide development using the Everything DiSC Workplace Profiles and stretch opportunities to enhance their skill set.