How to Avoid Favouritism When Recognising Top Performers

It can be tricky to manage a top performer in a team, you want to keep them engaged and motivated and genuinely think they’re doing a great job, but don’t want to be seen to always be saying well done to one person.

By: Sinead Healy on

So how do you avoid cries of favouritism around the office when praising a top performer?

We have a few tips:

Set clear expectations

When the team know what’s important for the month, the goals the group are looking to achieve or the priorities it becomes easier to centre praise around achieving those goals or aligning with priorities.

Be Specific

Be specific about why you’re praising a top performer. Whilst comments like you’re a star or you’ve pulled it out of the bag again, can be quick to fire off, they don’t help anyone else understand what specifically it is that the top performer is doing to be recognised.

Introduce Peer to Peer recognition

If you haven’t already (seriously why haven’t you?) Allow peers to do the talking, it means a lot when colleagues take time to recognise you.

Recognise effort

Remember that those on your team who haven’t yet achieved great things might well be putting in a lot of effort. Make sure you’re recognising your team members efforts, even if they not quite there yet.

See our blog on Recognising Employee Mistakes

Whatever you do don’t stop recognising a top performer, once people feel like their efforts are not appreciated all the research shows they walk. And let’s face it you can never be recognised too much can you?

See our blog on Can You Be Recognised Too Much?