The problem with good workers? Relying on their reliability…
Well-intentioned managers often give their best workers the most important projects and opportunities to showcase their work and get promoted. But what leaders often fail to recognize is that this puts pressure on the best employees to always be on high alert and feel as if there is no room for error.
Additionally, by favoring the strongest workers, we tend to stifle other team members, keeping them from growth opportunities and the chance to prove that they are capable of getting the job done.
So, how do we deal with this? It is not as easy as it may seem and as with anything concerning the arena of leadership, it takes an enormous amount of work, time, and energy as well as some good intuition.
The first way to ensure we are not overworking our employees is by simply communicating with them.
Ask them how they are doing, if they have too much on their plates or if there is anything they need from you. If they say yes, ask what you can do to help mitigate some of their stress, ask if they’d like another team member to join in on the project, and provide suggestions to meet their needs so they feel supported and successful despite requesting help.
You can also pass new projects on to someone who may not be a rock star yet, but shows potential. This option will require you to have a little more hands-on involvement unless you’re comfortable entrusting the employee with the large responsibility.
To promote growth within your organization, have your strongest team members oversee the project from a leadership standpoint and put your up-and-comer as the lead project manager. Restructuring your team this way will accomplish two goals: your shining star will gain valuable leadership experience and may have the power to influence other employees to adopt their work ethic and skill. Additionally, your up-and-comer will have the chance to lead a project, allowing them the opportunity to gain valuable experience and prove themselves.
This organizational strategy will only work if you have already created a professional environment that values trust and transparency. If you want to be successful you must nurture your team and empower them to take initiative and make good decisions.
As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others.