Individuals are typically more productive and content when their strengths, interests and goals are in alignment with their work. Learn as much as you can about these aspects for each of your employees and align their responsibilities when possible. Doing so enables you to tap into higher levels of performance and contentment. Challenges may appear as setbacks for some, but they can be valuable learning experiences and position employees for improved performance while preparing them for greater responsibility.
Tapping into the Ideal State
There are many tasks and aspects of positions that are undesirable for employees but they must be completed. Most positions have such aspects and they are unavoidable. Creating positions tailored to employee strengths and goals is not the intent here—the intent is to align work with employee strengths and goals as much as possible. In order to do this, you must discover their strengths and goals through direct conversations and formal assessments.
Understanding and Aligning with Employee Goals
The best way to learn about employee strengths, goals and challenges is through direct conversations with employees. Spend time with them to understand both their short and long-term goals and which aspects of their work that they find most challenging. Various instruments are also available that can identify individual strengths. Speak with your supervisor to determine if such instruments are available through the organization or if they will consent to your contacting the human resources department to explore other resources. Independent research and recommendations from colleagues can also be important sources of information and insight. Once you understand the ideal state for each of your employees, you can identify the areas in which you can tap into their strengths.
Empowering Employees to Overcome Challenges
Managers have a responsibility to provide support, developmental opportunities, coaching and if needed, discipline, to position employees to thrive in their roles. Many managers are unprepared to offer each of these to their employees. Learning and development can help ensure managers can confidently support employees. Given that employee success is partially dependent upon management’s abilities and performance, managers need to be willing to acknowledge and plan to develop their shortcomings as well. Well prepared managers know that empowerment can occur in the form of setting goals with employees and meeting with them periodically to discuss progress. You can let employees know that they can seek assistance from you at any time and stress that they do not need to wait for scheduled meetings to reach out to you.
- Align work assignments with employee strengths, goals and challenges when possible.
- During your first 30 days, meet with each employee to learn about their strengths, goals and challenges.