The air is crisp in the morning, the leaves on the trees start to fade to orange, and the farmers take to fields to harvest their crops. These are but a few signs that signal the fall season. Farmers who produce high yields have done their best to nurture their crops throughout the spring and summer months. If farming was a game, you could say that high yielding farmers WIN. In the same way, high producing and results oriented employees are nurtured by great leaders. You could also say these leaders W.I.N. as well. The last installation in this series on How Good Leaders W.I.N. is on the topic of nurturing employees to greatness.
If you hold a seed of any kind in your hand, you recognize that there is great potential inside of it…if you take care of it. People are the same way. There is great potential inside of everyone, and great leaders help bring it out in four ways: training, connecting, challenging and coaching.
Every employee brings some level of experience and knowledge to the workplace, but good leaders know that effective training is how to marry an employee’s existing knowledge with the strategy of the company. Working with the employee to identify what training is going to position them to be most successful for the job now and for the future is crucial. Prior to sending any employee to a training, conference or seminar, leaders who W.I.N. sit down with the employee to discuss specifics goals, expectations and takeaways of the training they are attending. By meeting with employees prior to a training, leaders increase learning engagement and show support for the employee’s development. Upon return of a training, leaders meet again with the employee to implement action planning while the information is still fresh in the employee’s mind. Post training meetings facilitate learning transfer and are what turns ideas into action.
Helping employees “connect the dots” in an organization is another action of great leaders. Connecting the dots means understanding why each department and each job is extremely important to the mission of the organization. Great leaders understand the whole mission and are able to articulate that message to employees consistently and authentically.
Extrinsic motivation was seen for a long time as being the only motivator for employees. Give them public praise, more money, and prizes, and that should be good enough. More recent studies have shown that intrinsic motivators are just as important as extrinsic ones. In his book Drive, Daniel Pink points out 3 important intrinsic motivators: mastery, autonomy, and purpose. Mastery implies providing the opportunity to get really good at something. In order to get really good at something, you must be presented with challenges that force your mind and body to find the solution. Great managers understand what challenges help build mastery on their team.
When faced with challenges it is always good to have a good “guide on the side” to help you through the challenge. Great leaders are that guide, or in another word that coach, that helps identify the ultimate goal. Good coaches meet you where you are. They help you identify what options you may have to reach goals and then sets the appropriate challenges to lead you to success.
Nurturing employees is all about providing the space they need to grow and prosper in your organization. And because every person is unique, using a profile or assessment like Emergenetics can help a leader throughout the nurturing process. Profiles add a level of awareness of what energizes your employee and provides insight into how they naturally approach situations. Helping employees understand how their role fits into the strategy, feeding them the proper training and coaching them through the challenges of the job is a WINning recipe for great leadership.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Terry L. Lee
MA, Advanced Certified Emergenetics Associate
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Terry L. Lee is a Senior Leadership Development and Training Consultant with Securities America Inc., in Omaha, NE. Terry has 13 + years experience in the learning & development and organizational development arenas. Terry is also active a youth motivational speaker. He has spoken to over 10,000 high school and college students about the importance of good choices when it comes to education and career goals. Terry holds a Masters degree from University of Bellevue in Managerial Communications.