Bosses can get more out of their teams by focusing on the development of their 'average' workers, it has been claimed.
An article published in the new edition of Hays Journal has suggested that this could be more effective than trying to get the top performers to exceed themselves.
The feature, available to read on hays.co.uk, suggests that mid-performing employees often struggle to improve because their top dog colleagues are often unwilling to hand down useful information.
They are also less motivated to do so if they are working in companies where the top performers are always promoted regardless of other characteristics, it said. There could be plenty of CEOs that can perhaps relate to this interesting snippet of leadership training.
In an interview with freshbusinessthinking.com, Hays HR director Barney Ely agreed that companies should focus on an employee's all-round contribution to the company when issuing rewards.
He explained: "Good performance is not just about getting the best results. How people behave within an organisation also plays an important role. On occasions, bad or damaging behaviour can be overlooked if the individual is high-performing.
"If all employees are genuinely regarded as talent, then staff will see that high performance really is something for everyone and not the preserve of the privileged few."
The report explores the theory that a team's top performer is often the least likely to want to improve. It suggested that striving for unachievable goals can be disengaging, especially if they are only likely to be rewarded with a bigger workload.