In most organizations, high-performing employees are often held in high esteem by their peers as well as their superiors. In fact, their exceptional efficiency often makes the management turn a blind eye to some of their other behavior issues. As a start, it might be okay to ignore a couple of incidents spaced over a considerable period of time-related to disrespect or outright disregard for organizational policies and procedures by such employees. However if such behavior turns into a regular habit, especially with high performers, it becomes essential for organizations to take corrective measures. The inability to do so in a timely and effective manner can deeply impact the morale and performance of other members of the workforce and contribute towards the development of toxic work culture.
Why poor compliance among high-performers is a major issue?
As mentioned before high performing employees hold a special place in an organization and often act as a source of inspiration for their peers and co-workers. In addition to their professional performance, their workplace behaviors are also closely followed and even emulated by their colleagues. Thus if they show any disregard for authority or refuse to adhere to the established organizational procedures, their colleagues might follow suit. This will create an environment of chaos and indiscipline within the organization, which will, in turn, affect the productivity, goodwill, and credibility of the organization. That is why poor compliance by top talent should be perceived as a major challenge that organizations need to tackle without any delay.
Strategies to manage top performers having compliance issues
While it is clear that effective management of compliance issues of top performers is of utmost importance, most organizations are unsure about the right way to handle the same. They fear offending or even losing their star employees, often leading to delays in taking corrective measures until it is too late. Discussed below are a few useful strategies that can help organizations manage high-performing employees with compliance issues with finesse:
- Direct managers to hold a private discussion with the offending employees
Many times the insubordination of employees might result from specific problems in their private lives or other behavioral issues. In most such cases, identifying these problems and working towards finding a solution for the same can help in resolving the problem effectively. For this, organizations should ask their managers to hold one-to-one discussions with the employees in question and try to find the root cause of the problem.
- Remind them about the importance of following procedures
A few high performing employees may stop respecting authority or following procedures simply because they consider themselves above all. Hence it becomes essential to remind them about why it is important for every single employee to follow established procedures within the organization. This would include making them aware of why the procedures and policies were established in the first. They should also be made to understand how these procedures are relevant to their job responsibilities and performance assessment. They should also be educated about how these procedures help in delivering the mission and values that form the operating base of the organization.
- Maintain a documented record of poor compliance
Many times, employees might be unaware that they are actually defying authority or being responsible for compliance issues. Maintaining a documented record of the compliance issues of the employees in question is an effective way to make them aware of their disruptive behavior. Such a document can help the employees to easily identify unacceptable behavior making it easier for them to rectify the same. In addition, it minimizes any chances of the employees passing on the blame to someone else in the face of documented proof. Most importantly, it helps in establishing a roadmap that they need to follow to become truly ideal employees in every respect.
- Reward employees with consistent compliance record
The most effective and tested strategy to overcome the problem of insubordination and defiance of authority by top performers is to reward employees with an outstanding compliance record. Making employees realize that compliance along with performance is as important, as exceptional performance, can make them more willing to follow company policies and regulations. This strategy works better than reprimanding the offending employees in public; it helps in driving the message home without embarrassing them in front of their co-workers. It works in the same manner as low performing employees feel inspired and motivated by the high performing ones, although in an entirely different context.
Implementing the above strategies can help an organization rectify the tendencies of its best-performing employees to defy authority and disregard procedures without actually taking any punitive actions against them. It will also assure them of the fact that it is their behavior that the organization has an objection to, rather than them as persons or their capabilities.