How to Support Your Employees’ Success
It’s a beautiful sunny day, and you’ve decided to take your morning jog to a nearby park rather than circling your neighborhood like always. You pass a child, wobbling on her shiny pink bike, white-knuckled, and determined. Her father walks patiently behind her, one hand on the seat, the other on the handlebar, steadying his daughter as she pedals without the confidence training wheels supplied. You remember the freedom you felt as a kid, soaring around on your bike with your buddies. As you make another lap, you round again on the man and his daughter. This time you slow down to watch as he takes his hands off her bike and cheers on the little girl who gains steadiness and speed with each push on the pedals. This child’s ability to successfully ride her bike is her accomplishment alone. She put in the practice, gained the necessary skills, and achieved her goal. However, the support she received from her father was critical to her success. He made sure she had the tools she needed, understood how to balance and pedal, and gave her encouragement and coaching along the way. Without these things, she might have given up, fallen more often, or taken much longer to successfully ride on her own.
Similarly, you must offer the same support to your employees to help them successfully reach their career goals. In the end, their ability to achieve is up to them. But when you provide guidance, gently pushing your top performers to stretch beyond their comfort zone, you play a role in their success. And the success of individual employees benefits the entire company. Not only does your support (or lack thereof) impact the retention and transition of employees, but it impacts the integrity of your brand.
Address Issues Quickly
If an employee is underperforming, intervene before it’s too late. And we don’t mean termination. Instead, determine what efforts you can take to help your employee succeed. Perhaps they need more training or clear communication. Consider matching them with an in-department mentor to help them develop and hone the skills to improve their performance. When the employee feels valued and recognizes his own improvements, morale is strengthened. So is their trust in management. If the employee is given a position above his skill level, determine if he is the right fit for the company. To use a concept from the book Good to Great by Jim Collins, you may need to get this employee “in the right seat on the bus.” If an employee matches the company culture but is in a role beyond his capabilities, transferring him to another department helps the employee—and your business—thrive. Internal transfers allow you to keep a valuable employee, maintain a positive relationship, and promote everyone’s success.
Develop Promising Talent
Paying attention only to struggling employees is less than beneficial. While it may feel unnecessary, investing in moderate to high-performing employees reduces competition, resentment, and turnover. Your best employees will also benefit from coaching and mentorship to strengthen current skills and develop new ones. For example, if you discover the career goals of those working under you, do your best to challenge them and broaden their experiences so that they’re prepared for the next step. Provide opportunities for your top employees to collaborate and bring a fresh perspective to new projects. Your ability to support and encourage career growth in your employees plays a major role in their success within your company.
Plan for the Future
When you’re doing the hard work of performance management, supporting the success of your employees, you’ll champion company longevity and ingenuity. When the best people are committed to the company and have been properly trained for their future roles, the company moves towards a successful future. As you consider your current employees, determining who you’ll promote and who you hope to retain, be sure you have a mix of reliable performers and risk-takers. Both are essential to the growth of your business.
At Trinity Training and Development, we believe that effective leaders create the environment where people want to perform. Our programs give your company’s managers, leads, and supervisors the tools they need to promote collaboration, cooperation, and performance. To learn more, contact us today.