Give your people what they want: one-on-one’s

Give your people what they want.

Following on from my last article about one-on-ones, there is a really easy way for you to give your people what they want this holiday, and throughout the year. Ask them.

Now is a great time to connect with your team and talk to them about their futures and where they see themselves headed.

People want to be empowered to good work, and they want to be seen and respected for who they are and the talents they offer. We aren’t that mysterious.

Talking to your people in one-on-ones about what they want accomplishes three important things:

  1. Find out how they want to develop in their career? Where do they want to go? What skills or mentorship do they need? Think beyond job training. Think career development. They are.
  2. Assess options for developing them within the company. Do they see opportunities within the company? Can you show them a path that starts with where they are right now?
  3. Show them that you respect them, and want to help them succeed. People demonstrate a higher level of engagement when they feel they are being developed. They are  more likely to feel good about the work they are currently doing because they can see how it fits into their big picture. And they are less likely to picture their future elsewhere.

Great managers find ways to build people’s careers and build the company.

Now, if you are choosing not to talk to your staff about their development goals because you are afraid that it would mean you would actually have to find the money or the time to develop that person. Guess what? You do!

Don’t lose the people who got you through this past year. Don’t lose your rising stars. As things settle out in the economy, now is the time to make investments in your team that will boost their potential and their commitment. And yes, that means spending your time developing them, and it might mean spending some of your budget.

At a Microsoft event this fall, I had an interesting conversation with a fellow from one of their German offices. I asked him how he liked the training and he told me, “It’s things like this that got me through this year.” He said, ” It’s been rough, we missed targets and there were so many cut backs but days like this, where we get high quality training that is focused on us and what we need, it means a lot and it tells me that I’m working for the right company.”

When your people feel they are held in high regard by the company, they hold the company in high regard. If they feel invisible, they eventually disappear.

Now what about you? Have you thought about your own development needs for 2010? What mentoring or training are you looking for and who do you need to talk to about getting it? The development of your team starts with you, so don’t forget to invest in yourself when you are making plans to invest in your team!

This article was originally published in Chris Obst’s monthly e-newsletter. Sign up on the side.

Category: All, Good Management Habits, Manage your People, Managing high performers, Team building, The Leader's Toolkit
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