How To Raise Team Performance After You Hire That Rock Star


If you want to do your company a favor, start interviewing people who are more talented than you. “Hire people that might be a threat to you because it will raise everybody’s game.” That’s the advice Heather Monahan shared with us during a recent Manage Smarter podcast. Monahan is the CEO of her own company Boss In Heels and previously served as Chief Revenue Officer at Beasley Communications. When you follow Monahan’s advice, revenue will rise. You may also encounter some team turbulence once that rock star comes on board. Here's what to do about that. 

Confidence Building

When you bring in a new team member with enormous superpowers, you’re signaling that you expect things to change. You can expect the dynamics between co-​workers to change, too. Some of your long-​standing team members may feel threatened. If they’re not outright complaining about the new person, they might start having performance problems. Instead of rising to the challenge of taking on new tasks, they’re floundering. They might start double-​checking every decision with you.

In this environment, you should take on the role of confidence builder. When employees signal, through actions or words, that they’re worried, engage with them. Give the employees some reassurance and a little nudge. Tell them they’re doing fine. Show you’re confident of their abilities by asking them to take on a new responsibility, such as handling a difficult client. 

Freedom to Make Mistakes

Then let your employee handle the account. Whether it’s complaints about billing, poor customer service or demands for product add-​ons that weren’t included in the original contract, your employee needs the freedom to analyze the situation and come to you with a suggested resolution. If you hover over them during every step in the process, you are teaching them dependence. You’re telling them you don’t believe in their abilities.

Hiring an employee with awesome skills does not mark a diminishment of your managerial responsibilities. You’re just getting started. Spend time with every team member to help them up their game and soon, your entire department will be blowing past the established goals for the year.