Despite relying heavily on top performers, many business leaders spend far more time applauding the modest efforts of underperforming employees to motivate them to do better.

For those employees who aren't putting in the effort, this system gives them no reason to work harder—they’re already enjoying the spoils of greatness. Meanwhile, silent animosity is brewing among those who give it their all; they may even begin doing subpar work

While it may sound like a good company culture to have a "team" approach, I often find this does more harm than good. It’s running a company like a democracy when it should be a meritocracy.
—Shannon Gabriel

Instead of praising half-hearted effort, leaders must recognize and reward their best performers to retain top-tier talent. In this recent Forbes article, Shannon Gabriel, a Forbes Human Resources Council member, shares six ways to nurture and drive performance excellence.

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