A silent but crucial responsibility you have as a leader is challenging your team. This can spell the difference between a productive year and a year of repeats and boredom.
As managers and leaders in our respective organizations, we find ourselves immersed in meeting Mt. Everest-like targets, launching new products or opening new offices across the world. An often overlooked area of importance is how we build and grow our teams with us. Here are three new ways that you can challenge your employees to keep them engaged while also increasing your productivity and setting you up for a year of success.
1. Offer new responsibilities that are currently yours
Delegation is a tricky word—if used the right way, it can reveal time that you can spend in more productive ways; and if used the wrong way, it can be perceived as laziness or complacency. From a manager’s perspective, it is actually many other things. Showing employees that you are entrusting them with some of your responsibilities tells them that their work is important and means a lot to your success. It also communicates that you value their input and want them to expand their learning. Providing employees with new tasks will challenge them to do better and become the people you would like to have on your boat. Ultimately, it also sends out a message to the entire company that your leadership is not insecure. You are willing to let the spot light shine on others without having to weaken your own.
2. Ask them to prepare their growth plan
Asking employees to list down their areas of improvement creates an intentional atmosphere for growth and development. Employees should be encouraged to take responsibility for their success because after all, they will benefit the most from it. As a leader, your task is to support the vision they have for themselves and to create a nurturing environment that aligns with the goals of the organization. In John Maxwell’s book, The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth, he said “that the sooner you make the transition to becoming intentional about your personal growth, the better it will be for you, because growth compounds and accelerates if you remain intentional about it.”
3. Give them a reporting function
There is something about presenting in front of a group that sends chills even to the most confident person. Giving team members a reporting function will not only challenge them to increase their presentation skills but also allow them the opportunity to learn more about the topic they are reporting. By giving the floor to your employee during your next team meeting, you are giving them a long term challenge that can be overcome eventually. It also gives you the added benefit of spotting potential leaders—those who have really poured in the time to learn more and develop a knack for presentation.
This blog is written by Anj Vera, Business Alliance Director of Assessment Analytics, January 2013