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Kobe Bryant’s injury and what businesses should learn about top performers

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Kobe Bryant has a fracture to the lateral tibial plateau of his left knee and the LA Lakers have announced he will be out about six weeks. This injury follows his recovery from an Achilles tendon tear in April this year.

He will likely rehab well and begin playing in the second half of the season, but analysts don’t expect him to regain the form that made him number 4 on the NBA all-time points leaders list.

Columnist J.A. Adande wrote the injury shows "how little time Lakers legend has left on the court."

Companies and Top Performers

Businesses large and small should take notice. Much is said about the lack of loyalty between companies and employees from top management to line workers.

Top performers in any department are not replaceable. Or, if they are, it can years for new talent to come along with the same work ethic and understanding of company culture and appreciation of corporate values.

In the sports world, a top performer or franchise player holds a key position and creates great plays and scoring opportunities against tremendous odds. That requires tremendous mental, emotional, and physical stamina.

Companies with hundreds or thousands of employees may not be as quick to notice top talent and the work ethic.

Top Performers in All Departments

I worked for Home Depot for two years in its At Home Services program selling roofing through the stores and meeting customers in their homes. In one particular store, there was a woman who took such pride in her work with customers requesting At Home Services that she often referred to Home Depot as “her store.”

She was dedicated to the company and loved helping the customers. By every measure, she could be called a franchise employee and she would not be easily to replace because her attitude was positive and she had a wonderful ability to work with people.

Possible Solutions for Hurting Performers

Companies who have employees facing crisis that will sideline them should consider a long-term view: what benefits has the person brought to customers and other workers and how can they be helped during a time of need?

Bringing in a temporary worker to fill a position, job-sharing, and making flexible work arrangements may provide short-term solutions.

The valued employee who knows the company cares may stay loyal, regain top form, and produce in a way that improves the bottom line.

Top producers are not replaceable.

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