A Key Part of Any Management Skills Training Course – Finding the Right People
Companies and the people who lead them are challenged by the economic and business limitations that make “doing more with less” a reality. In this environment, the managers recruiting for top new hires may be held back by budgets and the market realities. This presents an opportunity to find the potential high-impact employees among the existing staff and hyper-charge their development.
Most companies would indicate that they have talent development programs and training. The reality is that focusing time and attention on this critical people development activity is not happening at a high level. It would be easy to point out how the weak economic circumstances keeps this from happening. There are indications that the “talent ecosystem” in which high-impact employees can be identified and developed can be significantly improved.
The starting point for implementing more effective talent development system is not to build or buy an expensive program, particularly when budgets are so tight, but develop one. A motivated manager can implement a real and results oriented program by utilizing specific techniques. Here are the Five ways Managers can pursue the High-Impact employees.
1. Set Up Comprehensive Employee Development Plans. Finding high-impact employees begins with a purposeful development plan for every employee. Most employee training programs start with dome form of “orientation” training, say for 90 days. These programs are usually well though out but consistently fail to follow through to make sure each employee completes all the steps. What is needed is a quality orientation program, followed by a “next step” training schedule, leading to expanded training schedules.
2. Strictly Stick To Training Schedules. The manager who focuses on making sure that employees complete all training requirements, on time and to expectations, sends the message that “we take development seriously.” Training results are monitored and employees and their direct supervisors are held accountable for employee progress.
3. Track Training Results and Pinpoint Top Performers. Many training programs are implemented and the schedule checked off as completed. What happens next? Do managers look closely at how each employee performed and identify those who really excel? Once each training schedule is completed, the manager and any supervisor of each employee, need to sit down and review results in detail. Evaluate what was accomplished and how closely the expectations were met. Compare the results against other employees and the standards of performance. Start to put the potential “high-impact employee” tag on top performers.
4. Escalate Training Expectations. Managers can identify potential high-impact employee based on at least three criteria.
- Level of success in completing training assignments.
- Feedback and evaluation by direct manager on each employee’s progress, including implementation of training skills and know-how. All this needs to be tracked.
- Performance evaluation on job performance.
This simple approach to triangulating the emerging high-impact employee is effective when managed seriously.
5. Assign a Qualified Mentor. As soon as an employee has earned the manager’s designation as a potential high-impact employee, a mentor should be assigned. The mentor can be the manager, but wherever possible, an experienced and proven employee is a good choice. This benefits both the mentor and the mentee’s growth. The mentor must be on top of the guidance they provide and the employee. The person being mentored has a valued sponsor to move them forward. The mentor is charged with acting as a resource to coach, guide and a train the employee. Someone they can count on for help and support.
This approach to developing all employees, and identifying the potential high-impact people, is simple and effective management skill. It takes a dedicated manager and a disciplined and consistent approach. There is an important fact around the people development business that must be understood and taken into account when managing a business unit. Only a minority of the employees have the potential to grow rapidly. We refer to these high potential employees as “cheetahs” for speed of development and high production impact.
The hard reality is that many employees are glad to have a job and do not have the real drive and ambition to grow and achieve. They do their jobs. They put in a reasonable days work. They want to be paid and advance but are not driven and motivated to excel. Most employees would say they want to get ahead but are waiting for someone else to make their opportunity happen or for a”break” to come their way. The Cheetahs have already moved ahead and are striving and driving for results.
If managers do not identify, challenge and focus their limited resources on the potential high-impact performers, they will not develop to their potential and may even seek other opportunities. Time, training, mentoring and attention need to be applied to the high-impact cheetahs. These performers need to be challenged and asked to stretch and achieve. Managers can implement the 5 points listed above. They do not need to wait for corporate programs or improved budgets to move forward. Managers of high performance teams don’t wait for anybody. They act, and one of their most important actions should be to identify and develop high-impact employees. This is a game changer.
(c) Copyright 2011 – Michael D. Moore. All Rights Reserved World Wide
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