What do you do when you’ve learned your team member is naturally wired to do something that is not in their job description? In the perfect world, you can upskill them and move them into the perfect job fit. But in the real world, there are resource constraints.
Not having the authority to make big changes may even keep you from taking the first step to discover what your people’s strengths are.
The good news is, there are plenty of great leaders who have ignited their people’s strengths without changing their roles or responsibilities. Here are some tips on how you can, too.
Dig Into Insights
Open your team member’s full profile and click through their insights. Sometimes a simple acknowledgement of what a team member uniquely brings to the team goes a long way in making her or him feel connected to the work and team.
For example, with this insight, in your next one-on-one you can say “Kirsten, you are really good at encouraging the team. I saw you give XYZ compliment to Steve, and he really appreciated it. Thank you for building a positive culture on the team.”
Or look for insights that your team member currently doesn’t have an opportunity to exercise. For example, if you notice an insight like this one, and you work in an open and collaborative work space, ask Kirsten if she would like to try working 30 minutes alone behind closed doors each day for one week. Then check in with her at the end of that week to see if this was helpful.
Look for Outliers on Your Team Dashboard
Open up your team dashboard and look for outliers. Clear outliers might feel a bit outside of the team, whether they can put a finger on it or not. It might look like them feeling a bit frustrated, less active in conversations, or not producing up to the quality you’ve seen them capable of.
Noticing where they are unique from the team, and then altering small things to fit their natural style can produce a big change in how they feel connected to the team, as well as in the work they produce.
In our team, Tim stands out on the Culture Pulse in Management Philosophy. Our team leans towards Support motivated, which shows up in our culture of collaborative meetings, sharing personal stories, and leaders helping in the day-to-day. These qualities can frustrate someone leaning towards Performance, who wants to know what numbers to hit, then be left to go accomplish. So we gave Tim monthly goals. He’s knocking them out of the park.
Consider Tasks To Be Delegated
One leader, Michael, had a growing team and didn’t have the capacity to take each new hire out to lunch. So he looked on his team dashboard to see who on his team would be a great fit for this task.
Marjie was particularly energized by building relationships. Michael was a bit worried she would feel burdened by this additional task, and was surprised by how excitedly she jumped on it. This simple act of taking the newbie out to lunch allowed Marjie to activate her relationship building strengths, bringing fresh energy to Marjie, and resulting in more satisfaction in her existing role and tasks.
Each new hire is now welcomed into the team by someone who is genuinely curious to learn who they are, what they care about, and who then connects them with kindred spirits on the team. Genuine relationships are now quickly built, integrating the new hires into the culture and speeding up their time to understanding how the team works.
For Disengaged Employees
Are you noticing one of your people is not performing up to their potential, or is showing signs of disengagement such as frustration, team conflict, or not participating in conversations?
Open up their full profile and look for their natural strengths in VIA or StrengthsFinder. Click to expand these strengths and ask yourself: is there one small thing you can do to allow this person to activate their top strengths?
Another leader, Danielle, noticed that a software developer, Mike, was not bringing as much to the table as he was capable of. Danielle noticed that Mike’s top strengths are in leadership.
A developer’s time is spent in heads down work. How could Mike lean into his natural leadership qualities without changing his existing responsibilities? Danielle tasked him to start leading the team’s daily standup - an existing 5 minute touch base meeting. Such a small thing activated Mike. He started speaking up more in other meetings, sitting up straighter. Mike’s physical demeanor changed, and his engagement in his existing work amplified.
There are endless stories of leaders who have activated their people without changing their day-to-day responsibilities. We’ve built Cloverleaf to help you identify these unique talents in each of your people. When your people are empowered to do what they do best, your culture, productivity, and bottom line all benefit. Not to mention, everyone simply feels good.
If you’re looking for more personalized support in your specific situation and would like to talk with a coach, fill out the form below. Cloverleaf has a large network of trusted business coaches and consultants who spend their days activating people in their work.
Cloverleaf has a lot to offer, so check out our blog or other articles about the TEAM Dashboard.
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