A great deal is said and written about the potential in this day and age, with so many people showing precocious talent at a young age. It can feel pressurizing, without a doubt, to have people say that you have a great deal of potential, and one of the trickiest things for any manager or supervisor is ensuring that a new recruit with potential is able to harness that ability and move from “promising newbie” to “accomplished professional”. Regrettably, we probably hear more about potential these days in terms of “wasted opportunity” than we do when someone lives up to their promise.
As an entrepreneur responsible for a business, selecting the right people to help you make that business success is a key part of the process. As much as anything else, displaying the ability to harness an employee’s potential for the best results will make the difference between success and falling short. So when you hire new staff, it is important to give them every chance to deliver the results you know they can. The tips below will help to get you on the way to achieving that.
Everyone has their own reasons for getting out of bed in the morning to go to their job – and statistics indicate that “the love of the job” isn’t foremost in their mind. Making your business an enjoyable place to work is certainly worth a try, but also recognize that a person will always work their best and hardest when they are motivated. Have conversations with your skilled ingenue and try to understand what they really want to get out of a career and life. When you know what drives them, you’ll be able to see how their path to that prize can run through your business – thus allowing you to benefit from their brilliance.
One of the most popular tricks of management as seen in the sports world is when a hugely gifted teenager is invited to learn from a decorated professional for their mutual benefit. A young tyro will have lots of skill and ebullience, while the older hand has been through good and bad years, and will know how to deal with the ups and downs. It’s a good idea to find a mentor for any employee with potential – while the talent of the younger worker can inspire the mentor, the benefit goes both ways. An employee with potential can start to look at ways to fuse their obvious ability to a bit of wisdom and discover some tricks of the trade.
Any employer will have reservations about investing too much in a gifted youngster who can, at the end of a contract, get up and leave for another employer. The reality of this point is that there is very little point in throwing obstacles in the way of your employee’s departure.
By all means, battle to keep them aboard by offering a package of benefits that is competitive, but if their mind is set on something else, jealously guarding them is a bad idea in the long term and not even that good in the short term. If you help them grow and then let them go when they want to, they’ll only have good things to say about you, which will make you an attractive employer.