It is a theme I hear from leaders all the time: “I have nowhere to promote my people. I get good people all trained up and they leave because I don’t have enough opportunities for them.”
While it may be true that the best people will eventually move on if you can’t deliver career growth and regular pay increases, there is a first level of activity you can do to extend the time that people feel challenged and growing on your team. What I am talking about is breaking down the processes or areas of work for which your team is responsible and making specific individuals accountable for each. Some examples:
As you read through this list, you probably saw some tasks you like and some you would hate to do. Your staff are no different. Just because you have three managers at equal levels reporting to you, it does not mean you can’t give each very different areas for which to be fully accountable. If you get to know your staff and match their interests with things that need attention, you can delegate work more fully and engage people more in their work. At IBEX, we have a chart in the grumpy meeting room (the leadership daily stand-up meeting room) that lists who is accountable for what. The list has grown over time and, funny enough, so has the overall engagement of our leadership team. And we’re getting better results, too. Good people seem to relish having ownership of their own areas.
When you assign people with aptitude and interest to specific functional or process areas outside of their usual scope of work, you can increase accountability, improve results, and enhance workplace happiness and motivation – all at the same time!