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Effective Leadership: How to Keep Your Employees Operating at Peak Performance

When employees are functioning at peak performance levels, they are energized and motivated. When employees are motivated, the organization benefits as well.

A strong manager must know how to inspire and motivate employees. This is just one of the skills students learn when they enroll in Queens University of Charlotte’s online Master of Business Administration degree program. The Queens University online MBA program provides students with the critical knowledge and skills they need to lead a high-performing work force.

Here are six ways that effective leaders can keep employees performing at their peak:

Help employees feel fulfilled

To attract and retain top talent, managers should buoy their employees’ self-esteem and encourage their desire to perform meaningful work. Companies excel when employees are emotionally committed and meeting their professional goals, according to management consultant Jon Katzenbach.1 Most workers respond well to praise, incentives and constructive suggestions, while negative measures, such as threats of severe consequences for failure, lead to dissatisfaction.

Reward performance

People who are highly motivated to achieve are inspired by an environment in which that achievement is recognized and rewarded.  So give “gold stars” to your high performers—whether in the form of raises, time off, bonuses or other incentives. Set clear expectations and goals, and employees will strive to meet and exceed them.

Cultivate a strong work culture

Leaders set the tone and create the rules for a strong work culture. Honesty, openness, discipline and hard work at the top of the food chain go a long way to instilling those values at every level of the work force. Depending on the industry, a workplace culture might emphasize sharing information or put a premium on generating creative ideas.2

Identify and fix problems

Leaders need to be attuned to company morale. If it is low, identify and address the source of the problem. Focus on relatively small changes that could have a big impact.  Encouraging workers to give feedback at meetings, for example, improves communication and sends the message that managers are listening to those who report to them. Arranging lunches for a top-performing team is one way to show conscientious workers that they are valued.

Promote from within

Increasing pay and expanding learning and professional development opportunities were the most common methods that firms used to improve staff retention in 2015. They were also considered the most effective methods, according to a recent survey by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.3 So promote from within if you can and do not be afraid to boast about it. Providing avenues to career advancement is a great way to attract and retain high-performing employees.

Be flexible

Business leaders today are managing very diverse work forces. Many firms have responded to the changing face of the work force by adding options for flexible schedules and telecommuting and, in some cases, provisions for child care and fitness. It is important even for small businesses to stay aware of such trends to attract the best employees and keep the existing ones happy.

If you have what it takes to become a frontrunner in today’s global economy, then click here to learn how the Queens University of Charlotte Master of Business Administration will prepare you to lead high-peforming organizations.


1Jon Katzenbach, “Peak Performance: Aligning the Hearts and Minds of your Employees.” http://www.amazon.com/Peak-Performance-Aligning-Hearts-Employees/dp/0875849369

2The Boston Consulting Group: High-Performance Organizations. https://www.bcg.com/documents/file84953.pdf

3Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development: Resourcing and Talent Planning 2015 http://www.cipd.co.uk/binaries/resourcing-talent-planning_2015.pdf