Uncovering Employee Talents

This month (October 2012) we decided we would provide you insights that help you deliver the year end performance reviews to your employees. Last week’s post focused on putting the value back in performance appraisals. This week we want to offer tips for helping your employees discover and focus on their talents/gifts or strengths.

It it true we are all good at something or some things but NONE of us is good at everything. When we are in a job that matches our natural talents and abilities, it doesn’t quite seem like work. As a leader or manager, it is important that you help your team uncover and utilize their talents and abilities for the good of the company but also for the good of the employee. The end of the year is a great time for you to have your employees take stock of what they have done this past year and decide what they need to focus on for the new year but also celebrate the areas where they shine!

Where to Start

A good place to start tp uncover what your employee is good at is by using an assessment tool that measures the individuals top competencies or attributes. We are recommend the TTI TriMetrixHD which provides insights into the employees top competencies, behaviors, workplace motivators and acumen.  Once you know how the employee stacks up to the job you’ll be in a better position to provide feedback on ways they can exploit their strengths within the job.

During the Review: Building and Improving

We aren’t saying that employees shouldn’t try to develop “gaps” within their skill set. Certainly if you have an employee that aspires to say being a leader, by all means you should help them develop that ability. Interestingly enough you’ll know where “leadership” is on the competency spectrum if you have used the assessment tool we mentioned earlier. If it’s close to one of their top ten competencies they possibly already possess the skill, but haven’t had the opportunity to utilize it yet. If its lower on the scale, they still have the ability, but it may take some time to help them uncover and develop it.

The same thing is true for accountability. As a leader and/or manager it is your responsibility to help your employee develop and grow. The more information you have about their strengths and abilities the easier it will be to place them in certain roles and support them on their own journey to grow and develop. By holding your employees accountable for their jobs and producing results you enable them to grow with the company and in turn you help the company grow.

According to Ashley Bower’s, the President of  TTI Performance Systems, ” In analyzing jobs over the last 12 years, we find that personal accountability is a requirement in 98 percent of all jobs. This illustrates the importance for all hiring managers to totally evaluate each position as it relates to being personally accountable plus making sure that individuals bring personal accountability skills to the job.

Final Thoughts

Don’t give feedback just at the end of the year. The truth is, your employee’s want feedback all year long. They want to know if they are doing a good job AND the want to know if they messed up. You remember from your own experiences, the bosses that gave you any feedback are the ones you remember having the biggest impact on your development as a human and as an employee.

Don’t hold back, give the feedback. But do it in a way that the person receiving it will hear what you are actually trying to tell them.