Being the individual in charge does not mean that your days should be spent sitting behind a desk. You are responsible for your employees and discovering what they can bring to the business. The best leaders not only improve themselves, but those around them. Here are a few ways you can help your employees reach their potential:
Look for and Recognize Potential
The first step to helping anyone better themselves is to recognize the potential in them that they may not even see in themselves. To do this, you should watch your employees closely. What is their work ethic like? How is the quality of their work? Help them recognize their own potential by praising jobs well done and encouraging them to keep up the good work. This will motivate your employee to continue to work hard and progress in their career.
Encourage Networking and Team Work
Success in business is becoming more dependent upon our ability to network. Help your employees learn how to build relationships by encouraging team work and positive interwork relationships. Learning these skills in the office will help your employees build relationships out of the office. Their networking abilities may lead to future business deals that will help your business grow.
If you really want to help your employees reach their potential, then you need to be available to them. If they have questions or ideas, you should listen to them and help them fine tune their thinking process. The more available you are, the more comfortable your employees will be with you. This will allow you to better guide them in their career goals.
Don’t Let Them Become Complacent
The worst thing you can do for your employees is to let them stay in their comfort zone and do the same work day after day. Challenge them by assigning new projects and encouraging them to take risks. The more you push them, the more they will learn and grow from those experiences. Eventually they will recognize that they can do anything they set their mind to, and they will keep reaching to their full potential.
Use Failure for Learning
Too often employees are afraid to try anything new because if they fail they worry that it may get them fired. Trying and failing is a part of life, even in the business world. Allow your employees to make mistakes. Mistakes are a great way to learn. If you only chastise them for their mistakes, how are they going to learn from them. It is up to you to teach them. Talk about what happened. What did they do right? What do they need to improve to avoid the mistake in the future? When your employees know that you will support them even if they make a mistake, they will want to work harder for you and show you they can progress and do better.
Offer Training and Other Resources for Growth
You cannot always teach your employees everything they will need to know to succeed in their future careers. To improve their knowledge and skills, you should send your employees to conferences and off-site trainings. Once they have returned, give your employees the chance to teach what they have learned to the rest of the company. This is a great way to evaluate their teaching and leadership abilities.
Your employees may also want to improve their knowledge and skills by going back to school. You should encourage this and provide every opportunity for them to receive higher education. If you company is able, you should offer incentives for your employees to go back to school. Such help could include: Paying for part or all of tuition, promise of higher pay after their degree, etc. If you truly want your employees to reach their potential, then make sure they are consistently learning and growing.
No two employees are the same and, frankly, you don’t want them to be. Encourage your employees to be themselves and bring their own thoughts to the table. They shouldn’t be afraid to come to you with new ideas. Encouraging unique thought will help your employees to think outside the box and test their limits. Learning to think this way will help them reach their potential.
Encourage Hard Work
Your best employees may have natural ability, but that does not make up for the rewards that hard work can bring. Make sure that your employees know that the more effort they put in, the more they will get out. Nothing drives this home faster than encouragement and recognition for a job well done. When your employees get in the habit of hard work, it won’t be long before they begin to excel.
To ensure that your employees are on their way to reaching their potential, you should regularly follow up with performance reviews. During these reviews, go over previous goals and gauge how they are doing and what can be done to further their progress or lack of. This is also a great time to set new goals to keep your employees on track.
When you find yourself in a leadership role, your next challenge will be to help others grow and become leaders too. It is not always easy. It takes time and effort. Helping your employees reach their potential will not only help them. You and your business will benefit as well.
Micaiah is a Utah-based Brand Coordinator for Built for Teams. A new HR solution for small businesses, Built for Teams offers an entire suite of features to improve and streamline the connection between managers and employees. The capabilities include PTO tracking, managing employee files, creating org charts and more. Built for Teams is brought to you by the developers at Objective Inc. When not busy at work, Micaiah also enjoys reading a good book or spending time with her family.