As leaders anticipate 2020, many set aside time to review their 2019 achievements and disappointments, and capture learnings to take into the new year. As part of their planning, we encourage leaders to first consider their employee-specific efforts and results. For example, you might list the gifts or opportunities you’ve provided your employees over the last year. Have you:
- Sponsored employees to attend a course?
- Invested in coaching for high potential team members?
- Empowered others to make decisions on their own?
- Offered them time off to volunteer?
- Recommended them for a promotion?
- Invested time in getting to know their aspirations?
- Listened more than talked?
- Given constructive feedback to increase their success?
- Provided recognition for a job well done?
- Supported them behind the scenes?
The more of these practices you’ve supported, the more you have invested in helping your employees mature and “age well.”
Like the intentional aging of cheese, a process that adds to a cheese’s flavor and texture, a leader’s actions add to employee growth, engagement, satisfaction and productivity. Before cheese goes to market, each block is provided time to mature for at least six to twelve months. In the right carefully-monitored environment, cheese thrives and develops its truest, nuanced flavor potential. Employees, too, whether starting a new job, assignment or role, need time, attention, opportunities, and the right environment to reach their full potential.
Leaders select new employees with high expectations. Without planning and intentional follow-up, however, even the highest potential employee can become disenchanted, discouraged, and frustrated to the point of leaving. As leaders, we must be involved in the active onboarding, development and shaping of our employees. Leaders who create the right environment give employees a “gift” that helps to stimulate their growth, fulfillment and satisfaction, as well as encourage higher performance and service to others. As leaders, especially this holiday season, consider how you might “gift” your employees so that they are positioned to “age well” and attain their full potential in 2020 and beyond.
This giving season, we also encourage you to give to those less fortunate. Innolect is giving gifts to the following this year: Shoes That Fit and Soles4Souls.