MYTH: A high performer might upset team dynamics.
FACT: He will exert the right peer pressure, if managed properly
Let us take a situation where a strong candidate is hired and he quickly starts performing at a level higher than expected of his position. Initially, the team members may be happy to. have him in their team, but slowly, the manager finds himself facing a different challenge. The handling of high performers requires special skill and attention. While every manager would like high performers n his team, their presence might be troubling for the other team members in terms of job security or job visibility. Even good performers might find the presence of a high performer unsettling as he might take away from them the limelight they used to enjoy. Sometimes, people gang up against a high-performing newcomer, and if this is not handfed well by the manager, the new hire might feel suffocated and leave.
The manager needs to spend time and effort in managing the team dynamics. He should provide enough space to all team members to perform and shine. This will help in motivating them. Those who are capable of doing more should be constantly challenged with complex work. Keeping everyone’s plate full will lead to fewer issues at the workplace as no one will have enough time to be worried about what the others are doing. The manager should distribute work in such a way that the high performer will not only be challenged, but also feel proud of his contribution.
It’s a fine balancing act that the manager has to pull off when a high-performing newcomer becomes part of his team; the manager has to ensure not only that the newcomer maintains his performance, but also that the other team members still feel that they are valued.
WHAT CAN YOU DO AS THE EMPLOYEE? You might be worried about losing your ‘high-performance tag due to a new hire who has quickly earned a strong reputation. If you are, you had better learn from the new hire and polish your skills. You should be happy that you are getting different types of exposure without having to change your team or the company, and this will help you improve. Be competitive, not jealous. You can be an escapist wanting to quit the team or the company, but you will get more satisfaction if you can take up the challenge of regaining your old glory.
WHAT CAN YOU DO AS THE MANAGER? If managed well, peer pressure can turn out to be a healthy phenomenon at the workplace. As the manager, you have to ensure not only that the new hire—who is proving to be a high performer—has enough support from you to perform, but that there’s no unnecessary friction within the team. For this, you have to do a balancing act through proper communication and clear work distribution, In case of a conflict, you need to facilitate open feedback between the employees. Any attrition due to improper handling of peer relationships among high performers will be a reflection on your management skills.