Companies love star players, and that’s a good thing. We love star players, too, and we fully support rewarding them. But sometimes a company’s plan to reward a star player backfires because it doesn’t align with what that employee wants.
It’s dangerous to make assumptions for your star players or for any employee. Their goals might not align with the company’s goals for them. It’s up to you as the owner or manager to engage with that employee and figure out what they want.
One place we see this disconnect happen a lot is when a company promotes a star player to a management position without first having a conversation about it. You take that employee and you give them a shiny new salary and a shiny new manager title and think you’ve done a great thing. But then they fail or they get frustrated and leave.
When that happens, it’s on you as the employer, not the star employee. Just because they’re great at their job doesn’t mean they’ll be great as a manager. They may not even want to be a manager at all! Some employees prefer to stick to a job they love and don’t desire to move into management.
Like many things in managing employees, it all comes back to having an ongoing conversation. Is management something they’re interested in? If so, what parts of management do they feel comfortable with and what parts are they less sure about? What sort of training do they need to move into a management role?
If you start by having that conversation with your employees and then move them into a management role with proper training and support, the end result is much more positive. Instead of setting them up to fail, you’re setting them up for success.
It happens over and over again in companies of all sizes, from global giants to the smallest of small businesses. People make assumptions about their star players and move them into the wrong role, which can ultimately result in losing that star player.
Employees want to feel appreciated, but remember your vision may not be theirs. Make sure you’re having those conversations along the way so that you’re prepared when opportunities to promote occur.
Need help with how to start that conversation with your employees? We can help.