Building Stars: 5 Ways To Turn Your Employees Into Top Performers

Disney likes to use the sentence “Every role is a starring role” when talking about their Cast members at the numerous parks around the world. I, while not ever having any direct connection to Disney, have always looked up Disney as a leader in customer service. “Every role is a starring role” is just one of the many examples that I could point to when it comes to Disney’s vision, but it is one that I personally take to heart and try to think about when engaging in almost everything that I do.

While the sentence, “Every role is a starring role” makes sense for Disney, the entertainment juggernaut that calls every employee a “Cast Member”, I like to look at it in broader strokes. Look at your employees, look at the roles they play into your company’s day to day activity. think about every interaction with a customer, client, or vender as a story that you are telling them. Now think about the “stories” the people in your office are telling through their interactions. When you are thinking about the “stories” being told through your employees, are you envisioning Oscar performances?

Many people have the ability to become a star at work and they just need someone to act as an “acting coach,” if I am to stay with the metaphor I’ve built. One of the main purposes of this coach is to not only give them the training and tools but to also give them the support and inspiration they the not only deserve but strive for throughout the day. every employee wants to be a star so now is time to help them on that journey.

The top 5 ways to turn your employees into stars:

Training

Disney Cast Members retrieve great customer service training no matter what role they fill in the organization. From the janitor to the mouse himself, everyone knows exactly how to deal with customers and create great experiences no matter what the issue is. This training gives the employees not only the skill to handle the situation but the confidence that comes from knowing that you know exactly what you’re doing in every situation. The confidence that comes from training is the key when creating stars in your organization. Breed confidence through thorough training and your employees will start to show the power of the leading role.

Support

Proper support of your “Actors” is another key component to creating stars. Let’s look at one of the offshoots of Disney as a whole, The Disney Channel. Disney has created a system that literally makes stars. So many of the names that you know today have been brought up by the Disney system, and looking towards the future I really don’t see the trend stopping. Disney has created a support system for their talent that supports their creative needs. They have created a way for talent to follow their passion at the same time as creating great work. You need to find a way to do that at your offices, because creative endeavors drive great work in other avenues, and your employees need those outlets and the support to pursue passion projects within the industry, whether that is a new business process, or creating social content. Find the underlying passion and find ways to bring that into their day to day. you will see improved productivity as well as smiling faces.

Opportunity

When discussion Opportunity I really think of two different forms that equally play into how bright your star can shine. The first being the opportunity to get placed on challenging and rewarding projects, and the second would be the opportunity to show what they bring to the table. As the “Acting coach” you need to be able differentiate what type of opportunity your employee is really looking to get and be able to guide the person to what opportunities will allow them to tell great stories through their work. Whether it is an opportunity to give a presentation to coworkers about what they feel should be the vision of a project, or it is just the chance to bring their training and skills to a problem in a way that allows them to show off how much they know, giving opportunity to employees is a way to help them show you what they are actually capable of instead of, plus changing patterns helps keep the day interesting.

Recognition

This is where you take of the “Boss” hat and start acting like a coach. And any coach whether acting or sports, know that half of the battle to success is managing the mental state of the person you are coaching. Dealing with talent means that you are dealing with ego. Whether they excelled in their work on the job, or you know about great things they are doing off the clock, you need to make sure that your cast knows that you know about the work they are doing and think it’s great. Not giving your crew the recognition they deserve will slowly wear on them and work suffers because of it. it is amazing how much a simple “good job” can actually add to confidence, and in turn help your star create.

Lessons

What is acting without a little stage direction. Great performances don’t come easy and through the climb to stardom there will be failures. This is where you come along. Offering guidance, letting your actor know that its ok to ask for help, and that you are going to give them pointers along the way. After a job is done it is never a bad idea to review what has been done, and see where you can improve. the star understands that there is always room to improve but they are often too close to the project to see the issues. They need that outside view to help them along the way

With a little support and coaching you can easily take your crew from background actors to leading roles. Building on a foundation of trust and commitment, leads to huge gains in confidence and commitment that will lead to continued success for you and all the “Cast Members” you coach along the way.

Travis Wilson