Deadweight or Superstar?: The Secrets of Developing High-Performance Employees


You are Responsible for Your Own Success!

The challenge leaders face is getting the right people in the right seats at the right times to move everything forward. Having engaged, high-performing employees is essential to the success of your business.

Did you know …

  • 70% of employees are disengaged at work.
  • The National Employee Turnover Rate is 19%.
  • The Multifamily Turnover Rate is 39%.
  • A disengaged employee can cost the employer up to $2,000!

 The Connection Pyramid

The Connection Pyramid starts with safety and trust, whether within a team or a family. Fostering a sense of safety and trust results in the members of the team or family feeling comfortable being themselves around one another.  It also helps ensure everyone knows what to do. This allows for genuine interactions.

This level of safety and trust creates intimacy and bonding. It also paves the way for the honesty and transparency needed to sustain that intimacy.

From there, loyalty is established, which encourages all members to become team players.

The Leadership Cube

The Leadership Cube is a concept that was originally developed by an Air Force general. According to this concept, everyone in a team falls into one of 4 categories. Those categories include:

Learners – Low to average performance with high potential

This category typically includes about 40% of the team.  These individuals are great at learning new concepts and have much potential. Learners can be brand new leasing agents, leasing agent transfers or employees new to the industry.

You will want to spend time making sure people in this group have what they need to grow and be the best they can be. This especially applies to those who are new to the industry. They need your coaching and opportunities to practice. They need your recommendations and real world advice.

Solid Citizens – High performance with low to average potential

This category makes up another 40% of the team.  They do what they are supposed to do each day, but do not typically go above and beyond. Solid citizens typically need a pat on the back.  For example:

  • Thank you for getting your 3 leases for the month.
  • Thank you for coming to work on time.
  • Thank you for completing that turn in six hours.

Remember, this group makes up a large amount of your total team and is the backbone, so you should make sure these members feel acknowledged. Take some time to set your team goal wisely. Your solid citizens will likely meet those goals, but not go beyond, so make sure to set your goals at the most ambitious, but realistic level.

Deadweight – Low performance with low potential

The deadweight category makes up about 10% of your team.  These people are typically not meeting their deadlines and challenges. Often, your deadweight team members do not realize they are deadweight; they believe they are superstars.

On the bright side, you can help move people from the deadweight category into the solid citizen category.  In other cases, having a direct conversation can turn up the heat and may encourage those who are not prepared to improve to choose to move on from your organization.

When it’s time to have that discussion, you can use these “deadweight talk components” to help set and enforce the standard:

  • This is where you are.
  • This is where I need you to be.
  • This is when you need to be there by.
  • This is what happens if you don’t.

Remember to take the emotions out of it. Share the details above and then take corrective actions, if needed.

Stars – High performance with high potential

Your stars make up the final 10% of your team. People in this category typically start off from ‘learners’ to ‘solid citizens’ and eventually work up to the ‘stars’ category. This progression will happen as you identify those who possess the potential to become stars and promote and nurture them.

You must be mindful to continue to challenge and provide opportunities to the stars, so they will not get bored and move back down. This includes making sure they are placed in a department that highlights their talents and provides an adequate challenge.

Your stars also need to know that you recognize they are stars.

Provide Appropriate Feedback

Providing appropriate feedback includes both positive and less than positive feedback when needed. You can use this framework to effectively deliver your feedback:

  • This is what I need you to START doing.
  • This is what I need you to STOP doing.
  • This is what I need you to KEEP doing.

Most of your time will be spent guiding your learners. The other groups will typically take care of themselves as long as you have provided them with realistic goals.

Remember the 3 C’s: connect, critique and coach. Make these a part of your everyday operation and you will create the momentum your team needs to move in the right direction!

Presented by:

Rommel Anacan
The Relationship Difference, President and Founder