The Worst Part Of My Job: Part 4

by Patrice Altenhofen on June 15, 2012

in Employee Engagement,Performance Management,Questions,Recognition

Trust Strength Focus

If you’ve been following the posts on this blog for any amount of time, you’ve noticed we’re big fans of engagement and strengths-based employee development. Naturally the performance management tool I have been describing in this series of posts (part one, two and three) includes a section allowing employees to express how they’d like to spend their time every day, and where they see themselves heading in their jobs.

The section looks like this:

Section 3: Personal Strengths and Development Goals

  • What does the employee want to spend more, or less, time doing?
  • What are this employee’s growth goals with the Company?

It may seem simplistic to ask an employee how they want to spend their time; in fact, they may initially answer, “I want to spend more time on the beach in Tahiti and less time reconciling bank statements.” I know that was my first thought when I asked myself that question. And it’s a nice thought.

But back here in reality…I might answer, “I want to spend more time making presentations to groups and less time reviewing employee handbooks.” This would send a message to my supervisor that I am available for a very important task that not everyone in the world gets excited about doing (public speaking) – probably good news to the supervisor. It also may serve as a reminder to my supervisor that I have reviewed hundreds of employee handbooks over the years, and maybe it’s time for my workload to become more varied. The supervisor might decide to transfer this task to another employee in need of experience in the area.

By asking these questions, you show an interest in fostering the employee’s long-term success with your organization. You demonstrate to employees that you are tailoring your own expectations of them, to them – personally. You are able to mindfully assign tasks and opportunities based not only upon generalized job descriptions, but also upon specific employee interests, strengths, and development goals.

Great employers are passionate about employee development. And employees who can envision a bright future in their job stay longer, work harder, and serve customers better.


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