Do your employees feel overworked? Do they feel that their efforts go unrecognized or are underpaid to boot? These are some of the common complaints among employees. It is for these reasons why many employers believe that their teams are unhappy.
But the HRM Canada article titled Are Your Workers Underutilized? – How to Tap Into Their Potential gives us a different perspective into this situation that could be a great secret into supercharging their teams’ productivity.
According to the article, “85% of workers feel they could be more efficient at work.” But do not get to their full potential. Why?
According to the article, “85% of workers feel they could be more efficient at work.” But do not get to their full potential. Why? The employees feel there is a lot of “skill underutilization” in the workplaces today. As a result of skill underutilization, HRM Canada reported that organizations lose around $23,600 worth of productivity per employee annually.
So how can managers and CEOs overcome this problem and tap into the full potential of their employees?
Know the capability of your team
You had a reason for recruiting your employees – because their character and resumes looked promising. You invested in a pricy Applicant Tracking System to help you narrow down to the best candidates for the job. That means you want each of your employees to contribute towards the growth of your organization. It doesn’t matter how simple or complicated the job description is.
But managers that don’t know the capability of their employees – employees’ full range of skills – can’t expect to utilize their teams fully. Now, when we have large talent gap that isn’t getting bridged, the employees will definitely be unhappy. What results is bitter scratching of heads by the HR management and team managers.
If you don’t know what their skills are, be brave enough to ask about their skills. Where possible, strive to have 1-on-1s with their team members. Your aim is to discover the different unique contributions each of the employees can make to the teams.
The truth is that you may not utilize all the skills all the time. But, with that knowledge, it makes it easier for HR management to plan and strategize. If you are a manager or a team leader out there, here are some of the questions you may ask you’re unhappy, unengaged employees:
- What are we not seeing?
- What hidden talent are we not tapping into?
You never know, it might take you one question to maximize their potential.
Come up with performance metrics
When HR management or even the group leaders set specific quantitative metrics, it helps employees understand what they can realistically achieve or where they want to be. Like Applicant Tracking System where you qualify candidates from one stage to the next, so are performance metrics. Once a particular set of performance metrics are met, the leaders can raise the bar. As a result, the employees always feel a continued sense of accomplishment. As a manager, you can also work with the employee to see where they are in relation to achieving a certain milestone that will eventually lead them to where they want to be. Measuring the different metrics also help leaders measure the productivity of everyone in the team and how they can help them shoot to higher levels.
Promote a supportive work culture
Recruiting employees is not an easy task. But, it is even harder to foster engagement among your team. Gallup report (2017) shows that only 32% of employees are engaged in the US. According to the same report, only 13% of the employees are engaged worldwide – which is a very devastating figure.
One of the workarounds to this issue is by encouraging a supportive work culture that spurs engagement. Why is it important? There are times when your employees haven’t realized what their innate abilities are. Sometimes, they might be completely unwilling to tell you where their strengths lie. According to the HRM Canada, CEOs and managers need to create a “culture of flexibility and support” that allows employees “vocalize ideas and showcase their qualifications.”
As the leader, one of the tactics you can use is to encourage them to take the lead in creating plans and objectives for the team. While managers love the habit of delegating tasks “down the chain”, learn to entrust your employees with the responsibility to create and execute plans themselves. That way, you won’t buy your employees into your solutions. Rather, they will create a solution that most closely rhymes to their beliefs and underutilized skill.
Give constructive feedback
Now, this is not the stage where you had to use an Applicant Tracking System to weed out unqualified candidates. You already have a team. While many leaders are quick to give mean criticism and disapproving remarks, that’s the easiest route to killing their morale. The HR management needs to formulate a policy that favors constructive feedbacks. That way, the feedback you give will include specific recommendations for further improvement. Also, you need to deliver feedback regularly and your feedback should be tied to examples or data such as performance metrics. A good feedback is the one that focuses on growth and recognition of your employees, and not the one that knocks them down.
Be willing to provide opportunities outside of job function
Today, there is a challenge of compartmentalization of jobs that make employees believe that they can only operate with their designated areas of function or departments. But, they need to understand how other aspects of the organization function.
That’s another area HR management needs to look into. It is that cross-training that will increase the knowledge and awareness of the organization. Thanks to the new knowledge and exposure, the employees are likely to work more effectively with others leading to increased productivity. Besides, this kind of development helps increase energy in the workplace.
Summing it up
The modern business environment is a tough ground. The issue of, As a result, most business owners have to grapple with one challenge as they struggle to supercharge their performance of their teams. They are recruiting to hire the best team that looks perfect to them. However, they fail to extract the maximum level of talent from the team.
There are some who, unfortunately, try to solve the issue in the good old way by demanding better performance. But, turns out, that doesn’t work out well. HR management needs to be a little smarter.
One of the ways is to find the way to motivate your team to give their best without having to force them. Strive to understand them, and work out better attendance management strategies for your team. That way, you will end up tapping into the full potential of your team.