Leaders have a key role in unlocking the potential of employees, and should be a key element in the annual employee performance review
As a humanist I subscribe to the belief that each of us has potential. Thus, having the ability and capacity to develop and grow, and lead to greater success. Potential is the ability to improve, to reach greater limits. Each of us have hidden potential. As many experts believe, we only use 10 percent of our mental capacity, and 90 percent is rendered unused.
This is sad at best in my opinion.
Everything is possible in life and we have great potential to achieve it. Now is the time to stop putting limits on ourselves. Potential involves slowing down and taking the time to understand ourselves.
Ponder the following questions:
• When was the last time you gave serious thought to your potential? What action did you take as a result of your self-reflection?
• When was the last time your supervisor (leader) discussed your potential, and shared their views?
Indeed, leaders have a key role in unlocking the potential of employees. It is in there — it just has to be set free. An employee’s potential should be a key element in the annual employee performance review. Which will open the door for dialogue regarding the employee’s career aspirations, cross training opportunities, etc., as well as conversations about working on a cross functional team.
The role of a leader is to take the employee out of their comfort zone (in a supportive way) and encourage the employee to develop strength, career goals, and challenges, so that the employee does not grow complacent.
Indeed, the leader wants the employee to shine and play to their strengths and maximize their full potential. Potential needs to be challenged and surrounded with other high potential employees who can play off each other and become stronger and, yes, wiser. Potential, like all gifts and talents, has to be nurtured and nourished.
No effective leader will never allow an employee’s potential to go unnoticed or to lose momentum. Realizing potential to the fullest requires free thinking, breaking down barriers, negative thoughts, letting go of past experiences and creating new paradigms.
Remember your favorite teacher? The one who saw things in you, things that you could not see, and the one who believed in you and your potential? That is the role of 21 century leadership. High potential employees achieve significant results and outperform their peer group. Organizations that identify their top talent increase the likelihood of retaining these talented employees, thus reaping the benefits of a more engaged employee.
To unleash the potential in all your employees, foster a learning organization. Paint the picture of career growth and opportunity. Involve your high potential employees in special projects and challenge their bandwidth. Remember these are the employees that will lead your organization into the future and seek authority to make decisions that have a positive impact.
Find ways to put your high potential employees in the game, for example:
• Cross functional issues
• Industry conferences
• Make a presentation at key corporate meetings
• Mentioning new employees
• Encourage them to learn new things, getting them out of their comfort zone
• Offer training programs
• Appoint to a strategic committee
Leaders need to look for the potential in all employees at all levels and create a culture that values the untapped potential of each employee. There is no limit to human potential, an influential leadership can help to realize this by removing limits that people place on themselves by encouraging to try new things and risk taking. Each of us should view people through the lens that shows everything that is possible in life.
Permit a question. Do you view your organization as a think tank? The world has always been led by thinkers. People who dreamed of why to work better. Indeed, with potential are “thinkers” and doers who are critical to organizational sustainability.
Form a cross functional “think tank team” whose mission is to “think” of ways and methods to improve the organization. The members of this team would be your high potential employees, this would provide a platform to introduce new ideas, and provoke healthy debates on critical issues and challenges.
This is a great way to acknowledge employees’ potential and give them the opportunity to soar!