What If You Lost All Your "A" Performers?

There was a rare occurrence in the world of college basketball a couple of weeks ago. The national champion team for 2012, the University of Kentucky, had every one of its starting 5 announce that they are leaving college early for the NBA. How's that for a change in the lineup? Coach John Calipari's ability to keep getting a standing ovation from the UK fans will surely be tested next year.

If you work in a "team" environment, it is our hope that you will never have to face such a daunting challenge. The scenario does highlight a more common issue that occurs in the workplace-what to do if your star performer(s) leave. To help prevent a "rebuilding year" for your office or organization, put these "plays" into action now:

  • Take every opportunity to let your performers know how much you appreciate their efforts and how they contribute to the organization in a unique and vital way.
  • Work hard to improve the performance of your mediocre performers and don't allow them to consistently miss meeting your (realistic) expectations. Nothing brings a team down more than the high performers seeing that mediocrity is condoned.
  • Be vigilant about recognizing a "rookie's" interest in learning more about how things work in the organization. He/She may be on your starting team one day, and the better prepared they are now, the less time you will have to spend with them before sending them into the game.

Lastly, be meticulous about remembering what you have done that has created your team of champions. You can then apply those same strategies when training the next recruit...just hopefully not a whole team at one time.