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How to Keep Talent Motivated

Keeping Talent motivated by giving them space - illustrated by a person against a starry background

An organisation's creative and money-making stars can be a challenge to those required to manage them. These high achievers are usually highly motivated with the brains, passion and sheer creativity to produce a disproportionate amount of value. Whilst these 'stars' are marvellous and needed by every business, a lot of hassle can come with their undoubted talent and words like 'prima donna' might be appropriate.

However, it is the task of management to create the environment in which 'stars' can thrive but with clearly defined limits to their authority and freedom of action. 'Stars' cannot have too free a rein and it is a judgement call, case-by-case by managers, to decide when they need to step in and take firmer control of the situation

Knowing what makes successful people tick is critical to being able to manage them well and psychometric assessments that measure work-style behaviours will expose their motivators, fears, values and much more.

'Stars' normally do not appreciate being told what to do but what they do want is fewer rules that are really clear about where they can exhibit a degree of independent judgement. All too often 'stars' are well aware of their worth, which can lead to them resenting management - indeed, they can be contemptuous of managers.

That said, 'stars' too need to be reminded that they also need the power, strength and know-how of the organisation that employs them. Marketing, sales, finance, administration, getting paid all form part of a larger picture without which these stars cannot function. Reminding them of this is critical to leading them - they do not operate in a vacuum.

In summary:

• Explain and persuade
• Use your own expertise and management and persuasive skills
• give them space and resources
• provide clearly defined boundaries
• give sincere recognition and appreciation for their contribution
• set them challenges
• create the environment that will enable them to succeed

Do not:
• tell them what to do
• use hierarchy
• allow them to burn out
• create undue bureaucracy
• give feedback too often
• build them an ivory tower
• expect to get their thanks for the help you have given

Published on 30/04/2016

Author: Michael Manners

Michael Manners is the founder and principal of Limelight Learning UK who rose to the highest levels of general management through the sales and marketing route in a number of companies.

His first major success in the field of selling was as a sales manager, leading a national team at the age of 26. He consistently ranked in the top 5 of some 50 sales staff, and frequently succeeding in achieving the top position for most sales. He can also justly claim to have taken a business from sales of £350,000 per annum to in excess of £5m.

Michael is also a qualified practitioner in specialised psychometric assessments. He is keen to share his extensive and proven knowledge of sales training and sales techniques.