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Remember when you were a kid and your parents made you do chores you loathed because they built character? You might not have been Mom and Dad’s biggest fan at the time, but they were onto something.
The truth is, growth doesn’t just happen in the gold star moments. Growth also happens in the smaller, everyday moments that don’t get much attention. This is true of personal growth and employee growth in equal measure.
The trick, of course, is figuring out how to maximize employee growth in the moments when you’re not paying attention. Here are two ways to think about employee growth in everyday terms, focusing on the two employees that probably get the most attention: your hardest worker and your worst slacker.
While it may be easy (and tempting) to take advantage of your hardest worker, it’s not the right avenue for employee growth.
Listen, we get it. When you know John or Jane will do the work well, it’s tempting to give them the work knowing they’ll deliver. It’s also easy to mistake this for employee growth–after all, you’re giving them every opportunity, right?
Not exactly. You see, if you’re constantly piling tasks on your best worker, they don’t have any time to grow new skills. They’re just constantly buried in other people’s work.
Instead, take the time to consider how you’re distributing the workload. Rather than giving every task to your hardest worker, offer them opportunities to grow their skills. This could be a training they’re interested in, or offering them the opportunity to be mentored by another employee to learn skills for a role they could grow into.
Just as you shouldn’t take advantage of your best employees, you shouldn’t fall victim to your worst employees either.
Unfortunately, this is just as tempting as piling all the work on your best employees. After all, if you know your superstar employee will do the job without a second thought, why bother giving it to your slacker?
The short answer? Because you hired them to do a job. And if you have to outsource all their work to get it done, you’re not making them a better worker. You’re enabling them.
Instead, take some time to figure out why this employee is falling behind. More often than not, poor performance is a byproduct of lack of understanding. If you coach a lagging employee and give them the chance to learn and improve, they may well turn into a good employee.
This can be harder if you’re dealing with a toxic employee rather than an employee in need of coaching, but you still shouldn’t give in to your worst worker’s whims.
Of course, there are plenty of employees on the spectrum between your gold star employee and your employee who barely scrapes by. All of them deserve opportunities for employee growth.
That’s where we can help, with training software that makes it easy to deliver essential content, track employee progress, and ensure great results. Ready to set your organization up for success? Get in touch today to learn more.
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