- Be crystal clear on what success looks like. Does your team member know where the finish line is? For example, if your team member is responsible for hiring talent, how do you measure their success? Is it 5 new hires or 10? Do you need these new hires now or by end of the year? Be specific and identify the finish line for your team member so they know when they are successful, when they need to sprint, and when they need to keep pace. And keep in mind, it’s not only about results but also how we get them. Clarify for your team member the RIGHT behaviors that drive results. If collaboration with internal leaders is important, tell them and clarify what “collaboration” looks like. Don’t assume that they know. Set clear expectations for success.
- Give frequent and targeted feedback. How frequently do you have feedback discussions with your team member? When you give feedback, what do you focus on? Establish a weekly cadence for giving feedback. Keep the conversation focused on results and critical behaviors. Are they on track with their goals? If no, what are they doing to close the gaps and how can you help them? Ask them to assess their performance and then give them feedback on what you have observed. Together, identify ways for them to improve their performance. Don’t let your feedback discussions be sidetracked with “noise”, AKA, things that don’t drive success. By providing targeted and weekly feedback, you help your team member zero in on what is most important and provide them steps to improve, while also holding them accountable. For help on giving feedback, check out Giving Feedback: 5 Rules for Being a Positive Influence on Performance.
- Tap into their strengths. Imagine that you have a team member who is detail-oriented, super analytical and logical. They ALWAYS get the numbers right and seem happy to immerse themselves in a spreadsheet for hours. Would you put them in charge of leading a brainstorming session on re-branding? Probably not. We all bring a unique set of strengths to the workplace. Observe your team member for a few days. Identify what they do well. Then, evaluate what they are working on. What work aligns with their strengths and what work does not? Consider re-assigning work outside of their wheelhouse to someone else.
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