Want the best out of each employee?
Stop trying to fix their failings.
We are trained from a young age to strengthen weaknesses; in learning; in sport we are programmed to seek out weak areas of performance; and introduce strategies to make those weak areas strong with the idea it will make us stronger all around. As we develop, this is a smart approach, but when fully formed adults move into their careers and have entrenched habits this isn’t always the way to extrapolate their best.
It is natural for people form habits good and bad and to lean towards what they know, what they like and rarely dive into their discomfort. Of course, there are things all of us have to do that is part of being an adult, but if you really want your people to perform, forcing them to spend more time on tasks they do not like or excel at won’t necessarily allow them to thrive.
Many of us come into our own through post-secondary education when we have the opportunity to drop the subjects we don’t like and channel our energy into those we enjoy. In the corporate world performance reviews, direction and feedback is often directed on the area’s employees can improve by highlighting their weakness and then exploring strategies to strengthen them. The practice may help them get better in certain areas that do not come naturally to them, but won’t set them up to hit their peak performance.
Organizations hire talented people for their talents, so why try to over-index on trying to develop talents that are not their standouts? Instead they zero in on an employee’s natural talents and expertise, and then explore strategies to maximize that value. This will make your good employees superstars, their confidence will increase and they will enjoy their work more – after all this shows value for their natural talents and comes easy to them.
A workforce balances out when you have experts in many different areas that feed from and lean on each other. The employee who relies on a colleague who loves all the work they can’t tolerate will have greater appreciation for that employee and the chain will continue.
When conducting performance reviews, don’t hesitate to recognize areas of strength or weakness because it’s important data. Rather than delving into the areas of weakness determine a strategy to supplement and then figure out together how to allow that employees natural talents to benefit the whole organization more. Confident, happy employees hit their peak performance when their expertise is celebrated and encouraged.
Successful leaders match employees with complementary strengths to collaborate and deliver a better result, this helps them to see the value in each other and build trust while maximizing their own natural talents.
Scout Public Affairs Inc. partners with leaders and organizations to achieve business and personal objectives by developing teams and improving their effectiveness through the application of proven communications and corporate affairs expertise.