The hiring process has always been a rather grueling undertaking both for the employer and the applicant. There’s constantly a risk involved on the employer’s or recruitment agency’s side of the fence since you will be banking on a series of tests and interviews to gauge if a candidate is a high-potential employee who is expected to be an asset to your company once hired. However, it can be quite unfortunate when your newly-hired employee starts showing signs of a struggle and fall short of meeting your expectations.
It’s a tough call to base assumptions on initial screenings, but you still have to do your best to find the best person for the job. When you see the potential, it’s going to be up to you to nurture that potential and turn your employees into the best version of themselves as they learn new skills and use them to dish out one impressive performance after another.
A high-potential employee is one who does not only perform well but also exhibits the capabilities to climb up the ranks and be the next leader of your company. He or she should demonstrate the collective ability to not only do their jobs well but also possess the aptitude to leverage on their existing strengths while identifying opportunities for growth. Ideally, it would be great to have purely high-performing employees working for your company, but this is not always the case.
In reality, not everyone can be a top employee, so turning every employee into one is the key to creating a team that will help you achieve your company’s goals.
Ways Employers Can Help Employees Become the Best Version of Themselves
Build relationships on trust
Trust is the most solid of foundations on which to build relationships, which in turn are also the foundation of a successful work environment. When your employees do not trust their leaders, it is only a matter of time until the signs will be evident. This will significantly affect the performance of your employees and the overall work environment of the company.
Since ‘trust is the ultimate human currency’ according to SAP SE CEO Bill McDermott, established trust-filled professional relationships in your company is a valuable asset you would want to have. It is the leader’s responsibility to take the initiative, so he or she should have a firm grasp of this function to have the ideal work environment for the employees to boost performance.
Get them involved
Asking employees to contribute to streamlining the process has a high chance of getting some good ideas. This will also make them feel deserving of the rewards once handed out and let them know what’s needed to earn them.
Set and agree on goals
Goals should not be arbitrary, but instead be clear, challenging and achievable to get the best results. Integrate a way to give feedback in your process and involve task complexity. The loftier the goal, the higher the performance compared to just giving them positive verbal encouragement for motivation.
However, you need to be careful in providing immediate gratification through affirmation and rewards since some employees have never learned or have forgotten to achieve a significant milestone. You can instill in them a sense of accomplishment whenever they set and reach a meaningful goal.
Experienced peers and mentors have the wisdom and aptitude to teach employees who are looking to develop a new skill or learn how to take on unfamiliar responsibilities. Mentoring benefits not only the apprentice but also the mentor and the company. This kind of relationship promotes a positive social environment, job satisfaction, and company loyalty.
Give them challenging work
The common problem among employers is they sell their employees short by expecting too little of them, which often comes from the fear that their employees can’t handle specific tasks. What’s worse is an employer may be trying to protect them from failure.
The solution here is to give your employees an opportunity to step out of their comfort zone to provide them with the space needed to improve. When presented with a challenge, they are pushed to evolve and be better.
Create room for growth
Giving your employees a dead-end job is never a good thing. They will feel boxed in with repetitive tasks like a machine along a production line. This stunts any growth with all the work limitations they have to struggle with. As a good leader, you will have to present opportunities for your employees to acquire new skills and experiences that may lead to them being leaders themselves.
Recognize Achievements and hand out rewards
Rewarding employees who have performed well by producing tangible results such as closing deals and hitting sales goals is a relatively straightforward method of giving them value and their achievements. Aside from this, giving out recognition rewards for outstanding professional behavior like being on time or effective collaborations with their team can encourage others to improve.
Align your rewards with company goals
Make sure to only reward behavior and performance that have a direct influence on the company’s goals. Rewarding intangible achievements that lack definition such as ‘initiative’ and ‘resourcefulness’ may misinterpret this as favoritism. This can cause them to have no concrete sense of what it takes to earn them.
Being in a position of leadership requires the continuous empowerment of your employees to help them grow and become the best version of themselves. It should be built around relationships based on trust, agreements on the kind of behavior that produces results and the provision of challenging work. By easing up on control and giving your employees more significant responsibilities in the company, you can efficiently provide them with the tools to achieve mutual goals.