When hiking with my family recently, we discovered a trail we hadn’t yet explored. So often we find ourselves following the same path – well not today! Wow what a pay off! I could not believe this had been there all this time, right in our back yard.
I couldn’t help but think of opportunities missed if we fail to explore our own back yards. Think about your organization. How do you recruit for a new position? Hire externally? Hire a consultant? If these are your typical responses, you may be missing out. Now don’t get me wrong, fresh bodies bring fresh ideas, and as a consultant, I appreciate outsourcing. But too often, organizations fail to look within; incurring unnecessary hiring and training costs, not to mention the opportunity to further engage a loyal employee.
Not sure where to start? Here are 3 key ideas to get you started:
- Develop Strengths – Develop a program that helps your employees explore and develop their strengths. Help your employees identify specific activities at which they consistently find success and maintain a passion to do. For a great “How to” on this subject, check out Marcus Buckingham’s book – Go Put Your Strengths to Work. Marcus shares 6 specific steps to get your employees on the strength path.
- Develop a Share Culture – As your Strengths program gets rocking, some managers might fear losing a strong performer to another team. Their fears aren’t unfounded – that’s often the point of the program and you need to be sensitive to it. Work with your managers to ensure they are not left in the lurch and see the benefits coming to their team.
- Colour Outside Job Description Lines – I am not saying completely ditch the JD’s, but if you want to have high performing teams, you have to let go of the myth that everyone must be accountable for the same tasks and activities. Instead, look at duties from a team perspective. What is one member particularly strong in, where another is weak? Keep everyone focused on areas of strength and the team output will be phenomenal!
You never know what you will find in your own backyard so take a look. The payoff will be not just $$ saved training new employees, but in the heightened performance of an engaged workforce.