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How to Get the Most From Your Top-Performing Employees

Hiring great people is only half of the equation.

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Every organization has its stars — the Michael Jordans or Megan Rapinoes, who shine with their leadership and perform at a higher level. The fact that they outperform their peers isn’t a bad thing, either: These high achievers raise the bar for their colleagues and motivate them to do better. According to Harvard Business Review, studies have found that adding a star performer to a team can boost other team members’ effectiveness by 5-15 percent.

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More surprising is how much those stars contribute to an organization’s overall output. It turns out that a very small proportion of a company is responsible for a large proportion of its results: the top 1 percent accounts for 10 percent of organizational output; the top 5 percent accounts for 25 percent of organizational output; and, the top 20 percent accounts for 80 percent of organizational output.

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