Help your team go from good to great!

Help your team go from good to great!

The way your employees feel is the way your customers will feel.  And if your employees don’t feel valued, neither will your customers.
– Sybil F. Stershic

During performance management discussions, you may hear the question?

 I want to move to the next level or be given more responsibility, how can this happen?

As a people manager, seeing your team members develop and shine in their chosen career is a great feeling.  An important part of a people managers’ role is to help your team to move up or out and achieve more.

Gallup’s ‘State of the Global Workforce‘ found that 85% of employees are not engaged at work.  That’s a big number, especially when the impact on business productivity, morale and client satisfaction is negatively effected when this occurs.

In my experience, teams that don’t have career direction, have a lack of clarity around their role or what is expected from them leads to a loss of passion and ultimately dis-engaging from the business.

There are a number of tools, techniques and methods that can be introduced to give clarity on how they can shine.  In this week’s newsletter, I wanted to touch on some of the tools that I used as a people manager.

The first tool I recommend is a ‘Competency Framework‘.

A competency framework allows you to align the overall company strategy through to the day to day activities that each person does.

A CEO I worked with would ask employees he met in the lift what their job was and how it related to the company strategy. 

This is a great way to determine if everyone is heading in the same direction.  Are you team members able to answer this question easily and correctly?

Here’s a great blog that outlines the competency framework process and gives the steps, activities and documents.

Once you have your competency framework in place, then it’s time to do a ‘Skills Gap Analysis‘.  Now don’t groan, this exercise can be as easy or as hard as you make it.

Perhaps it’s a complex survey with drop downs and radio buttons or maybe it’s as simple as getting your team to put X’s in an Excel sheet.

Undertaking a skills gap analysis process makes everyone’s job easy.  You can immediately see how much development is required for each individual, therefore no one on your team  should be sitting scratching their head at development planning time as they can clearly see what they need to do.

Additionally, this will help you build the business case for the development budget as the money counters can help you obtain funding for all your training and development needs.

And lastly, your development planning list is already prioritised as during the Competency Matrix process, you have determined the minimum competency requirements for each job role.

This blog outlines a 5 step process to help you complete the Skills Gap Analysis process.

My last tool or method is the creation of a ‘Career Development Matrix‘.

This matrix gives both managers and employees a cheat sheet on what the minimum professional skills and what success looks like before promotion or higher responsibilities would be considered.

Those within your team who have a flair for the technical and don’t really want to take on a people management or aren’t willing to take on the politics and bureaucracy that can come with promotion can still continue to develop.  It allows them to review other specialisms and they can expand on a new pathway.

I also found that having all of these tools in place gave people managers a better understanding of what success really looks like and performance ratings normalised and individuals understood what they needed to get ahead based on their performance.

I asked a previous manager of mine why I didn’t obtain the top rating, advised that to get it, I would need to walk on water and have photographic evidence.

See Cisco’s Certification Skills Matrix which is a great example of how they have plotted career development for IT networking professionals.

Make no mistake, putting these tools into play is no mean feat.  There is quite a bit of work involved if you’re starting from scratch.  However, once in place the benefits far outweigh the pain.

Most of us crave feeling valued, being part of a team that aims for and achieves success.  Help your team be the best they can be by giving the clarity they seek.

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