How Does Your Company Measure Your Potential?

Understanding how your employer gauges your potential can have a major impact on your position at the company, and on your career. If you know what they’re looking for in an employee, you can improve your chances of advancement.

When a manager is evaluating an employee’s potential, they’re considering factors like motivation, skill, experience, and the willingness and ability to learn, and evaluating how that employee can or will impact the company as it moves forward into the future.

Clearly, there is variation in terms of what different companies and management teams look at when determining an employee’s potential. But some factors are common, even if they may seem obvious. Still, knowing how your employer measures your potential can be valuable information both for your own personal development and for your advancement within the company. Here are a few commonly-used indicators.

Quality of Work

There are many ways for an employer or manager to asses the quality of your work. It might be through a series of specifically stated goals they’ve set for you, or through subjective analysis from your direct supervisor or manager. There is also what’s known as the 9-Box Grid method of assessment, a graph with one axis representing an employee’s potential, and the other their performance. So, a high-performing but low-potential worker would be ideal in their current role, while a low-performing but high-potential employee would be in need of coaching to unlock that potential. Other factors companies use to measure performance can be as simple as tracking the number of errors an employee has made, or, depending on the nature of their work, quantitative statistics like the number or amount of sales made or units produced.

360/180-Degree Feedback

The concept behind 360-degree feedback is for an employer to get performance feedback from a staff member’s direct manager, colleagues, subordinates, and customers. This can be done through specific questions or as a more general performance evaluation. Alternately, 180-degree feedback is similar, but is limited to the employee’s co-workers and manager, and is typically utilized when the worker doesn’t manage people and/or interact with customers.

Leadership Potential

Many businesses will also consider their employees’ potential to rise to a leadership position. Part of management is being able to observe when employees demonstrate a knack for managing others, delegating duties, and taking responsibility for projects. In a small or medium-sized business, it’s often easier for management to get a feel for an employee’s abilities and potential to advance by direct observation. (It also costs a business more to hire and train new employees than to promote an internal candidate.) Factors like drive, organizational skill, the ability to learn quickly and think on their feet, and empathy towards colleagues are some of the traits a good manager will look for when assessing an employee’s leadership potential. The Korn Ferry Institute, an authority on leadership and recruiting, has its own test for measuring leadership potential that takes into account many of these traits and more.

Once you have an idea of how your company measures your potential, you’ll be able to adjust your behaviour accordingly and focus on the right things. Whether it’s making a point of being in the office early every day, contributing in meetings, helping your colleagues with their projects, or just putting in the extra effort when executing your duties, demonstrating your potential to management is a sure-fire way to get ahead.

 

Justin Anderson | Assistant Editor

Motivating Employees

An unknown author once said, “If you expect your employees to go the extra mile for your customers, you must prove that you are willing to go the extra mile for them.” Remember, your employees are customers, too; if you don’t take care of them, they will find others who can. Losing a star staff member can mean lowered productivity and efficiency, issues that are bound to affect your company. They can even jeopardize your sustainability and survival.

Certainly, managing human resources is a continuing challenge for business owners. Employees are the backbone and most integral part of every organization. Keeping your staff engaged goes beyond financial compensation. It’s a matter of creating “win-win” strategies. That is, adjusting your management practices to boost employees’ motivation, resulting in improved productivity and profitability.

Having the “3 Rs” in place will help you motivate employees and tap into their potential, which will strengthen their connection with your business, eventually coming to regard it almost as their own.

Reach Out

Just like in marriage, constant communication leads to a lasting relationship. A simple smile and greeting cost you nothing but can mean a lot to your employees. Since they typically want job security and stability, try to be as transparent as possible, and update them on the company’s financial standing and any happenings that could impact their job.

Another way to reach out is to schedule a regular one-on-one session, asking your staff how they’re doing, asking about their needs or concerns, and even addressing any personal matters that they may want to share with you. Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric, shared that he would always congratulate his staff on their life events, such as welcoming a new baby, celebrating a birthday, a child recently graduating, etc. When your workers feel that you’re aware of what’s going on with them and that you know what they value, they will surely stay with you. Maintaining an open-door policy can be a highly effective feedback mechanism as well, but obviously it needs to be within reasonable bounds. As the boss and leader, your words should have the power to motivate your people and inspire them to be at their best.

Recognize

Everyone likes to feel valued. Your team will appreciate being recognized for their abilities, beyond simply being paid for their work. Keep employees motivated by challenging them and strategically expanding their duties. You can cross-train them or increase their responsibilities (once again, within reason). The key is to head off the possibility of them growing complacent or bored without burning them out.

Another method of non-monetary recognition is to empower your employees the authority to self-manage and make decisions. Give them the opportunity to utilize their skills and expand their horizons. People are motivated when they work with less supervision. Manage your workforce but avoid micromanaging them. Provide room for them to share their thoughts and views on how they could improve their jobs, and the company as a whole. Recognize their suggestions and contributions, such as posting their names on an internal bulletin board or sending them commendation letters and congratulatory notes or emails. Whenever possible, broadcast their achievements to the rest of the team. They will be motivated to continue perform at a high level, and their recognition will inspire others to do the same.

Always acknowledge the value of teamwork. Develop steering committees to work on various organizational initiatives and projects. This can foster co-operation and help drive productivity, as well as create a more positive work environment.

Reward

Your employees will welcome your support and encouragement when it comes to developing and expanding their skills. You can  set them up in training programs that might otherwise be costly to them as individuals, but for you the ROI will prove to be positive for your business. You should also examine your compensation package and consider ramping it up. There are cost-effective ways to do so, such as:

  • Casual Friday or Jeans Day
  • Participation in sport activities such as a charity run (which can also double as an advertisement)
  • Allow telecommuting or working at home, which will help the company save on energy, supplies, and even office space
  • Involve your staff in relevant professional associations, depending on their expertise
  • Health insurance extended to family members

 

Motivated employees are a valuable asset in an organization. Motivation is a matter of coming up with innovative ways to spur your staff on and encourage them to work to their strengths. Designing attractive incentive programs without breaking the bank while still managing to solidify your workforce and potentially improve profits. Be sure to celebrate wins, and remember that the ability to develop a unique corporate culture is in your hands.

 

M. Beltran | DBPC Blog

10 Ways To Reward Employees

Employees are one of the most important assets if any organization. Their hard work and commitment play a huge part in making a company successful. As a result, staff loyalty is key. There are multiples factors that will influence someone’s fidelity, including management style, work environment and recognition of their work. Remember that for most individuals, feeling appreciated is just as important as a good salary. If the company is content with the bare minimum in compensating employees, people will move on and find an employer who will value their work more. Company rewards are a great way to show your employees how much you appreciate their efforts. Make sure to recognize employees after successful outcomes, such as adding a new client, meeting company goals, closing a sale or completing a project. Involve everyone in the decision; people feel better when the reward also comes from their peers instead of just management. The following list will show you many different ways, in which you can reward your employees.

  1. Thank You: As simple as it seems, a quick “thank you” is a good start. Sometimes companies don’t have the financial capacity to afford tangible rewards, but by just saying this magic word, a person will feel that their work is appreciated. Ensure that management adopts this is a habit. You would be surprised how many managers never say “thank you” to their team. This is one of the main reasons why people end up disliking their superiors and move on to other companies.
  2. Lunch or Dinner invitation: Invite your employees to lunch or dinner as a token of appreciation.
  3. Flexible Hours: Let your employees set their own schedule to the degree that it’s possible. This flexibility will be highly appreciated by them, especially to new parents and students.
  4. Extra vacations or day off: Give one or more extra vacation days to employees who excel, or those who are helping increase profits substantially .
  5. Celebrate Special Days: Celebrate your employees’ birthdays, new babies, weddings or any other special days. It’s not necessary to have a full-on party; a simple card with everyone’s signature and a small present will be cherished by any employee.
  6. Food and Beverage: Be a little spontaneous. From time to time, buy pastries or coffee for your employees. This will brighten their day and show your appreciation.
  7. Wall of fame: Every month acknowledge the work of one of your employees. Put their picture on a wall of fame and let everyone know how much you value this person’s work.
  8. Public recognition: After a successful job, write a memo congratulating a particular employee or team for their effort. Acknowledge the impact of their work on the company’s overall success.
  9. Pay for Their Commute: Reward punctual employee with a gas card or a public transit pass. This will not just acknowledge their devotion but will also motivate other to be on time.
  10. Awards: Every year create an award event for your employees. Recognize their punctuality, efficiency, cooperation, leadership and other critical skills they may have demonstrated.

Be constant with your rewards, and ensure every person who deserves to be recognized is on your rewards list. Don’t let management show favoritism to particular employees. Base the decision on feedback from  other employees and team leaders. Establish a well-maintained reward program for your company, and don’t forget that a simple “thank you” will always be appreciated.

Viviana | DBPC Blog