Many managers assume that their team members would take every little chance they get just to get less work. This is simply a misguided notion. What they do not know about the dirty little secret of corporate America is that many employees like it when they are assigned with challenging jobs. Unchallenged employees are not happy, and will leave the building as soon as they get a better offer. If you feel that your team is not flexing their corporate muscles, then it sounds like you need to unlock their hidden potential. After all, wasted talents are a lost resource for your company. Here are some tips to live by:
Conduct an assessment
Take the time to ponder if you are getting everything from each of the team members. Are there persons in your team whom you think can perform on a higher level? Not all employees will suggest that they can take on more challenging responsibilities. If you find an employee that he or she’s performing her job with the highest level of accuracy and proficiency, then he or she may be ready to take on more challenging tasks.
Mix it up
Doing the same thing over and over can dull the brain, and makes for unhappy workers. Try to mix it up by assigning team members to help out with an important project that’s not in their usual scope. With this, you will be able to engage your workers and perhaps, you will receive some new ideas from them. This is a great way to keep your workers motivated.
Push their boundaries
From time to time, you might consider giving team members a job that they’re not prepared for. If you stretch the boundaries of your worker, not only will they learn something, it also sparks innovation and creativity. Doing the same mundane things again and again will inevitably slow down creativity and move into automatic. Just make sure that the members have at least 40% of the required skills.
Find out what they like and need
In general, finding out what your workers like outside of the job may lead you to unlock their hidden talents. For example, if you have a programmer who likes to do creative writing, you should take note. If a job comes up that’s related to what they like, you can recommend them. They might be a good fit. At times, you might also need to break some rules in order to accommodate the needs of your workers.