Existing employees hold untapped potential that can easily drive performance within your organization. The value of tapping into this potential can prove invaluable when working towards new goals. Successful analysis of understanding this potential is built on deep knowledge of your employees. The more companies can identify employee capabilities as they relate to the market and business strategy, the more they are able to continually offer improved results. Inspiring employees to think outside of the box can help reveal valuable skills that can be applied to successful strategies. In order to better understand employee capabilities, there are a series of action steps to follow.
1.) Listen Up-Have an open conversation with your employee about their career aspirations. Ask how their current role, desired future roles, and current work environment supports their career aspirations. If there is a disconnect between their current work environment and or role, gain their perspective on how tasks or duties associated with their desired aspirations could be applied to their current role. This provides additional opportunities to motivate your employee while giving them a chance to exercise their skill-sets. The exercising of these skills can help unlock and expose skills that could potential drive results in your current body of work as a result of thinking outside of the box.
2.) Shatter Rules-This does not mean violate policies or values. What it does mean is, remove any caps on creativity. Offer safe zones and open door policies for creativity. Champion new ideas shared by your employees by incorporating them into overall into team strategies. Infrastructure and core strategy fundamentals are necessary. However, with changing work environments, approaches to strategies must change as well.
3.) Chop it Up-After outlining the overall team goal, vision, and expectations of each teammate, chop up the tasks within your strategy and divide them amongst the team. Allow your employees to select the tasks that best connect with them. The teammates will own tasks that they are more passionate about. This allows the teammate to offer 100% of their own creativity to the team. In this type of scenario, each teammate truly owns a portion of the business.
4.) Show & Tell- Offer a show and tell session of ideas, hobbies, topics of interests, or new skills learned. This allows teammates to share things that they are passionate about that may tie into overall business goals and offer application of transferable skills. When having the time to show and tell interests and ideas, it can also double as a brainstorming session where all teammates can be involved.
5.) Hit the Road-Take your team outside of their normal setting. Once “Show & Tell” stories have been shared, incorporate a site visit to places that relate to the information shared. This could be done over a meal, for a meeting, or even team building activity. By fueling your team’s interests with your interest, this fuel can be channeled into a positive direction for your team.
Once you have tapped into new skills that can be applied to current strategies, ensure that you are keeping track of results and identifying aspects of the strategy that worked best. Most importantly, recognize your teammates for their contribution to the team goal.