The key to achieving great performance, as described by Marcus Buckingham in First, Break All the Rules, is to ensure employees have the natural talents and are cast into roles that allow them to fully use their talents. Great cooks who work as warehouse supervisors will never be known for their (MaxPerformance) culinary genius. Great salesmen who work as accountants will never be known for their (MaxPerformance) selling prowess. Employees become MaxPerformers because they know their talents and work in roles that allow these talents to be fully developed.
Customize employees’ roles around their talents, interests and values. Average performers are bored with their work; MaxPerformers are excited about their work because they enjoy what they do. Successful managers learn all they can about their employees then build the employees’ roles to include tasks and responsibilities that both appeal to the employee and build organizational value.
The more the role is customized (sculpted) for the employee, the more emotionally connected (engaged) the employee becomes; this translates into dynamic performance. For example, an employee who also loves to teach and share information can be asked to coordinate and present new product education to employees and customers. Employees become MaxPerformers when they are connected emotionally to what they do.
Establish performance expectations so employees can own their performance. MaxPerformers take full ownership for their performance and their impact. Owners encourage this process by clearly defining each employee’s performance expectations, including financial expectations, and allowing employee input in creating the plan to achieve the expectation. This activates an employee’s sense of performance ownership and moves the ordinary performer to a MaxPerformer.
Owners move ordinary employees to MaxPerformers by defining performance expectations and allowing employees to own the implementation plans.