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Every Procurement department has at least one. Uncommonly productive, they're capable of motivating and inspiring their peers. Top performers can do it all, but even they need motivation.

"High-performing employees are motivated by different types of recognition, incentives, and management styles than other workers," says Anne Hayden, VP of Human Resources for the MRI Network. She recommends the following strategies for managers looking to motivate and empower their leading talent.

1. Provide Consistent Feedback 
The best Procurement professionals are constantly learning. They're always on the hunt for new ways to hone their skills and accept new responsibilities at work.  Annual performance reviews aren't enough for such individuals. Ongoing feedback will fuel their professional development and remind them that management is equally invested in their advancement.

2. Develop Career Paths
Top performers aren't afraid to jump ship if they feel like they're stuck in place. Establishing a clear map of where they can go within the company can help to alleviate any frustration. Career pathing will give top Procurement talent a greater sense of ownership and motivation. It'll also enable managers to align their top performers' goals with the company's own objectives.

3. Encourage Mentoring 
Mentoring is a great way to prepare top performers for managerial positions.  According to a study by the American Society for Training and Development, a whopping 71% of Fortune 500 companies use these opportunities to season top performers and prepare them for new roles. Serving as a mentor, your top Procurement talent will share valuable business knowledge with the rest of your team. Selecting them for such a position also shows you're earnestly invested in their long-term development

4. Don't Micromanage
No one likes to be micromanaged. Leading Procurement professionals particularly despise it. Insperity's Jeff Miller advises managers to take a step back and learn from their top employees rather than interfering in their day-to-day efforts. Top performers get to be that way by developing unique and efficient processes. An effective manager should show interest in learning what it is that's help set their top performers apart. Whenever possible, they should look for opportunities to adapt these ideas to serve the company on a larger scale.

Top performers are essential to your Procurement team's culture and long-term success. With these tips, managers should find it easier to nurture their talents and build a world-class Procurement unit.
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