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Recognizing Talent Is A Talent, Too

If you own a business or are in a management position of any kind, you know that your employees are your greatest asset. You spend a lot of time and energy recruiting and training them, and you not only want them to do their best work, but you want them to be happy doing it so that they stay with you and keep growing and contributing.

Good salaries and performance bonuses are one way to keep employees happy , but writing a check just isn’t enough. Beyond financial rewards, employees need to feel personally appreciated, valued, and recognized for what they do. Acknowledging their talent and worth gives them the encouragement to be engaged and develop their skills even more. It’s a win-win for everyone.

One way to show employees that you value their efforts is with custom awards that highlight their accomplishments and serve as visible recognition not only for themselves but for customers or clients to see. Other ways include giving them high-profile assignments, offering them special training opportunities, or allowing salaried time to work on related projects in the community. Depending upon your type of business, there are certainly other means of recognition you can come up with. Sometimes simply having a conversation with an employee will help you determine what would best suit him or her.

But how to recognize talent among your employees? Even if you’ve got a great group of people, there are bound to be some who rise above the rest in ways that deserve top recognition. Here is what to look for:

Of Course They’re Good at What They Do

It’s a given that you’re looking for people who have a comprehensive grasp of their responsibilities and perform them well and consistently. If you think about it, they’re the employees you always go to when something important needs to be done both quickly and proficiently. You can count on them with no worries.

They Take the Lead

You’re also looking for people who don’t have to be asked to do whatever it is that obviously needs doing. They see a need and they initiate the way to fulfill it, whether it’s by doing it themselves or bringing it to your attention with a suggested plan of action. If you do ask for someone to lead a project, they’re the first to volunteer, both as a way of honing their own skills as well as a means to contributing to the final goal.

They Don’t Need Micromanaging

The employees you’re looking for are the ones who don’t routinely run to you for coaching or advice on how to complete a job they should know how or be able to figure out how to do. This doesn’t mean that they take great leaps into a potentially precarious unknown without checking in, but that they have enough common sense to realize when a situation requires it versus when a situation doesn’t. They don’t waste your time. (By the way, if you fear that you’re a micromanager, you might want to read How to Deal with a Micromanager Without Killing Yourself First.)

They’re Team Players

And not only team players, but their teams would vote them MVP. They jump in to work collaboratively when it’s called for, and they’re generous with their expertise when someone else needs assistance. They’re just as willing to be part of a team whether or not they’re leading it. They accept feedback — both appreciation and critique — gracefully. Their team members trust them and value their contributions as integral components of group achievement.

They’ve Got Great Attitudes

People can do good jobs in the textbook sense of the term but still not be top assets to your business if their attitudes are less than positive. Who needs a grouch or constant complainer even if he or she is always at the top of the sales chart? A bona fide genius may get away with being a grump, but group morale is important to everyone’s sense of satisfaction and ultimate productivity.

They’re Engaged In Your Business

The people you want to reward and encourage with special recognition are the ones who do more than just come to work for the paycheck. They’re interested in the company’s business and are committed to its success. They take it upon themselves to learn about your industry, the firm’s customers, and its potential for the future. Why? Because they want to be part of it.

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