Guest article by Dr. Helen Harries, consultant for Pivotal Scientific.
With the New Year started, many of you will have completed you performance reviews and identified successes as well as areas for development, so my question is how many of you will actually do something about it? Or will you let yet another year pass?
Did you know that 2013 is predicted to be the “Year of the Employee”? According to Scott Di Giammarino, CEO of Reel Potential, 2013 will see leaders recognise that they cannot continue to ask people to do more with less, that they need to look for ways in which to engage their teams and show that they actually care for their individuals. At the same time employees are craving new and innovative ways in which to make a difference, realise their true and full potential. The combination of this change in mindset between employer and employee is predicted to result in the greatest collaborative effort seen in decades.
So how can we make this happen? Well, it’s long been recognised that if an individual feels valued as part of an organisation, they will in turn put in their maximum effort. In fact a recent survey (Horowitz, 2010) indicated that the top two reasons people leave a company of their own accord are:
- They dislike their manager – feeling there was a lack of guidance, career development and feedback
- They weren’t learning anything – there was no investment in the employees
One way of overcoming this and ensuring that employee’s feel valued is not only to identify areas in which they can develop, but to help this become a reality via training. Everyone has some area where they would benefit from some help to develop, be it professional or personal.
Training doesn’t have to be expensive and can come in various guises:
- Job Specific Training
You wouldn’t expect your 17 year old to get behind the wheel of a car and drive without first having provided them with clear instruction. Many companies however, appear to employ new staff or promote employees into new roles without providing them with training and support around their role. Why not make your expectations clear from the outset?
- Compliance Training
In today’s world, we have an increasing responsibility to ensure that our employees are safe at work whilst meeting the regulatory requirements of our industry. We are responsible not only for their Health and Safety and GXP compliance in the workplace but also their well being. It is therefore just as important to consider training around dealing with confrontation, managing stress and also communication. How many times have you read an e-mail from a colleague and have cringed at how inappropriate it is?
- Leadership Training
How many times do you see employees promoted for their technical excellence yet fail to deliver once in a position of management? When you consider the skill set required to find and deliver scientific solutions at the bench, and then consider the skills required to be a successful leader, you will realise that they are quite different, and not all scientists will make this transition easily.
- Coaching and Mentoring
A recent survey of 347 leaders performed by Cylient and The Center for Creative Leadership revealed that the leaders believed that “seismic shifts in their organisations’ performance are possible if coaching is ingrained in their culture”. Coaching can help individuals and teams work through issues, encouraging them to see the bigger picture and put stretching but achievable goals in place to help them excel.
Mentoring is very similar to coaching in the processes involved, however the relationship is generally between an experienced individual and a less experienced individual, with the mentor guiding the mentee. If you consider the world’s high performers, you will find that many of them had a mentor and in fact now mentor others.
One final thought, if you put this in place, then you must also ensure that your employees are able to see a future for themselves within your company. Not everyone will want to be the next CEO, but they will all want to be able to see a clear career path, with new opportunities should they want to take them.
For assistance and advice with identifying training needs, provision of training, coaching and mentoring and succession planning please contact Pivotal Scientific to arrange a no-obligation free consultation.