Learn your employee's hidden talents

01 February 2019

By Ralph Watkins

Learn your employee's hidden talents

​The two met common reasons for leaving one job for another in the UK are resignation or ‘other’.

Not the result of redundancy, dismissal, the termination of temporary contracts, or for health, family or other personal reasons, this means that 67% of job movers were motivated by something else. I’m willing to bet that a large proportion of that 67% left because they felt underappreciated.

There’s a myriad of reasons behind that statistic: recognition, compensation and benefits are obvious flags for job movers. Then there’s relationships with colleagues and managers, and the impact of overall corporate culture. But what about feeling underused or unchallenged? People love to use their unique gifts and talents – it’s a source of enormous self-satisfaction. One American study even suggested that when managers encourage employees to develop their natural strengths, they are more than twice as likely to keep them engaged longer-term.

I remember working at ADP; a payroll company. Payroll is a competitive industry, which inevitably means high staff turnover as people move between the major players. ADP decided to combat this by putting personal development plans in place for all their employees. By making employees feel more engaged and challenged, they became less likely to leave. It also had the added benefit of reducing external recruitment: managers could identify skills to fill any gaps from the inside.

Seeing the potential in your workforce goes beyond personal development plans, though. How many of the following do you implement?

·      Regular reviews tied into pastoral care, where more than just performance is measured. Do you ask ‘are you enjoying the role?’

·      Ensuring all senior managers are invited to key events, such as away days and external meetings. By taking every opportunity to mix ‘boots on the ground’ staff with managers, you’ll raise the profile of all staff, and allow opportunities for potential to be exposed.

Personal development shouldn’t just be provided by managers, it should be expected of employees. When Jason worked at first direct, he would ask any staff member seeking career advancement ‘do you have a personal development plan?’ and ‘what are you doing to grow?’ It’s a joint responsibility between employer and employee.

Rising through the ranks or switching roles isn’t for everyone, of course. But there should be an organisational culture where ALL colleagues are motivated to take charge of their own development, fostered by managers where potential is identified. It’s about keeping the best people under the same roof and creating a ‘career culture’. Colleagues who want to grow should be able to see a future within the organisation – without having to look elsewhere. At ASDA/ Walmart, that translated into the corporate saying ‘your job is not your status’. Everyone should be equally valued and have equal chance of progression.

At Vallum, we recognise the value of finding the right talent in house when it’s there. When clients approach us to recruit new staff, we won’t just quote a price, we’ll ask ‘why?’ We’ll help you evaluate the strength and depth in your existing team, and we can offer coaching and consultancy to bolster capability from within.

Venture further with Vallum. Get in touch by contacting [email protected] or visit www.vallum.co.uk to find out more.

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