While databases, performance analytics, and skill tracking can help employers gain a broad overview of team productivity, talent managers can only accomplish so much while hiding behind a screen. There are a few steps that managers across every industry should be taking every day. If you’re responsible for the development and output of a team of employees, it may be time to put the data crunching aside and work the moves below into your performance strategy.
1. Know what your employees are actually doing. This may sound like a no-brainer, but a surprising number of plant managers and assembly line supervisors aren’t actually taking this obvious step. Managers should understand the challenges faced by each of their employees every day on the line, and they recognize the basics required for success in each of these roles.
2. Engage with your employees. Only when you sit across from them, have lunch with them, or chat with them are they likely genuinely open up. Arrange meetings and encourage spontaneous conversations, and as they speak, listen carefully to determine what they need for success and find out where their true passions lie. Start by walking around on the shop floor every day and maintaining an open door policy while you’re in your office.
3. Take development seriously by launching projects. When employees show signs of talent or interest outside the limits of their assigned tasks, give them the opportunity to develop new skill sets and then exercise them. Take an assembly line employee off the floor for a few weeks, for example, and give her some exposure to the logistics or marketing side of the business.
4. Track output, improvement, and expertise. Know which employees are the highest producers, and know which ones are the most knowledgeable and the most respected by their peers. Notice who struggling employees and rookies turn to most often for answers and guidance and recognize those with the highest general level of productivity. Also, notice the employees who seem to experience the most dramatic growth and improvement during the course of a given year. All three of these qualities are rarely found in the same people.
5. Reward, thank, and acknowledge. Measuring knowledge and output won’t translate into company success unless these measurements result in meaningful rewards. Start by simply thanking your employees on a daily basis for their hard work.
For more information on how to manage your teams and cultivate their hidden talents, arrange an appointment with the Little Rock staffing experts at CSS.