The Challenge: You’re Only as Good as Your Team
As a manager, your overall productivity is a product of the individual and collective productivity of your team members.
The Question: How Can You Attract and Cultivate the Best Talent?
Perhaps the most effective way of attracting a high-quality, high-performing team is to earn a reputation for developing talent. Good people will want to work with you if they feel you will help them progress in their careers.
“One measure of leadership is the caliber of people who choose to follow you.”—Dennis A. Peer
Try This: Attract and Develop Talent
Invest time, thought and energy in your team members’ development.
When you hire, pay particular attention to the candidate’s motivation, as well as how they handle “tough stuff”. Are they enthusiastic about their role? Will they take initiative? Will they persist to figure out how to handle tough challenges?
Get People Off to a Good Start
Give new team members the information, training and support they need to get off to a good start. The first 90 days or so on the job are critical; some organizations find it beneficial to provide on-boarding support for the entire first year. Make new employees feel welcome. Give them a clear picture of your overall purpose and goals. Open doors to make it easy to connect with colleagues. Pair them with peer mentors. Check in at regular intervals. Provide opportunities to ask questions.
Challenge Individuals to Grow
Get to know your team members. Find out their interests, values, professional and personal goals. Give individuals assignments that tap into their interests and allow them to use their talents.
Be willing to invest to develop your team members’ capacities. Give them opportunities to further develop their strengths and help them bring critical weaknesses up to standards. Take the time to coach them through challenges. Provide relevant training and education opportunities.
Offer New Experiences
Keep everyone fresh by always providing some type of new experience. Offer assignments that will give them a chance to put new skills into practice.
Support Individuals’ Growth
Sometimes it’s hard to let go of good talent, especially if you’ve invested time and resources in development. If you are letting go to allow someone to progress in their career, consider it a compliment. If you develop a reputation for holding people back selfishly, you are likely to only attract mediocre talent.
Cultivate the Team
Build a culture that supports learning and growth. Promote good collaboration. Encourage team members to support each other’s development.
Apply & Evaluate: What Do You Notice?
As you try the above strategies, notice how people respond. Also consider:
- What do the leaders who attract the best talent do that makes them attractive?
- If your dream opportunity came along today, could your current role be filled by your existing staff?
- Would you want to work on your own team? What else could you do to make your organization one talented people would want to join?
Take Action: Now What?
As you plan and work towards accomplishing your goals, always keep in mind that your success will largely be because of the talents and efforts of others.
©New Century Leadership LLC 2015