Do you have gold medal employees?

Let's be honest -- employees are both the best and the worst part of owning an agency.  It's tough to find the right ones.  It's a challenge to train them well.  It's a bear to encourage each of them in the way they want to be encouraged.  And even when you know it's the right thing to do, it's miserable to fire one. I always marveled at Jack Welch's philosophy that you should fire the bottom 10% of your work force.  I have to admit, there were years when I fantasized about it.  And other years when I truly didn't have a bottom 10% because everyone was gold medal worthy. Top employees are like athletes - motivated, well trained people who are willing to make personal sacrifices for the team. Certainly a competitive nature is important, but it doesn't work well for your company unless it's accompanied by a deep sense of loyalty and responsibility. As I thought about what makes a gold medal employee (and I acknowledge that it starts with having a gold medal employer, which I try very hard to be...and hit about 50% of the time.) I came up with this list. Gold medal employees go above and beyond expectations. They don't stop when they meet the minimum goals for their jobs - they strive to set new records. Gold medal employees offer solutions, not problems. They don't just say to the boss, "You have a problem." Instead, you hear, "We have a problem - let’s see if I can figure a way to solve it." Gold medal employees bounce back. When they fail, they don't let it get them down. They admit the mistake and find ways to fix it. [...]