Every year, people look forward to starting fresh when January rolls around. As 2021 begins, with the continued implications of the global pandemic still an issue, it may feel especially challenging to work to one’s full potential. How can you help your employees stretch, grow, and set the direction they need – even if it means beating the odds to get there in the New Year?
Emphasize SMART goals.
SMART stands for “specific, measurable, achievable, realistic” and “time based.” Make SMART goals your mantra as you help employees reach their full potential.
- While all five parameters are equally important, this may be a good time to reconsider R for realistic, in light of the added strains imposed by people due to Covid-19. Is someone juggling children learning from home or managing the stress of not seeing loved ones? Goals can still be achieved, but you may need to build more flexibility into your definition of what “realistic” looks like. Similarly, you may have to ease up on deadlines where practical, which could mean rethinking T.
Recognize people for their achievements.
The Pygmalion effect is a psychological phenomenon wherein high expectations lead to improved performance. If a manager is convinced an employee has high potential, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. But it won’t work if an employee is unaware of it. Leadership’s belief in that employee must be clearly communicated. A great way to start is by recognizing people for reaching milestones and achievements.
- Managers should use their words and actions to influence how their employees view themselves. This means expressing confidence in their ability to succeed and take calculated risks to deliver desired results. And anytime a manager sees something innovative or praiseworthy in an employee, they should call it out.
Turn failures into teaching moments.
Everyone makes mistakes or fails to meet expectations at some point. Frame these situations as learning opportunities.
- People will work harder and smarter when they know their manager has their back. Build employees up after setbacks and get them back on their feet ASAP. Discuss what went wrong in a calm, helpful fashion. Avoid being overly critical, and make sure they know that failure is viewed as a necessary part of growth and innovation.
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