Uncovering and nurturing a hidden talent is the secret path to great retention, fantastic employee referrals, and it gives you the greatest leadership gift of all: the chance to change lives.
Sadly, as leaders, we spend a lot of our time focused on shortcomings: annual evaluations, coaching sessions, disciplinary actions, and simply walking around our organizations with a critical eye. The focus tends to be on what an individual needs to do better, and rarely on what they can do well.
Something I find so exciting is that most people possess a skill or an ability with which they are gifted that they don’t even know they have! No matter how old, or how seasoned, or how educated a person is, all of us possess incredible hidden talents. But the caveat is, it’s hard for people to recognize their own unique gifts, and it often takes a special someone else to notice it, point it out, and encourage them to make use of it.
How powerful can finding and developing hidden talents be? As a leader, you have the incredible opportunity to change someone’s life! I hope you understand the beautiful magnitude of that. And I hope you dip your toe into that wonderful feeling as much as you can. Heck, I hope you dive headfirst into a giant pool of it!
Think about your own leadership journey. Along the way, there was probably at least one person who recognized something special in you.
They believed in you.
Perhaps it was a teacher who believed you could do it, a mentor who challenged you, or a supervisor who gave you an opportunity to succeed. They not only supported you, they pushed you to be better.
Chances are, some of the people on your team have yet to encounter someone to push them to be better; to be their best.
Be that person!
Recognize an individual’s strength, point it out, and nurture it. Tell them and show them that you believe in them. Become that person they will reflect on in years to come as being critical to their success, and do so by focusing more on strengths and less on areas for development.
- Identify strengths: Help a member of your team recognize their strengths, the things they enjoy doing and that come naturally.
- Put the strengths to use: Most people have strengths that don’t get used at work or at home. What a waste! Balance the work in teams based on each individual’s strengths.
- Strengthen the strength: Research shows that our greatest opportunity for growth actually comes from developing our strengths, not from focusing on our shortcomings. Work to expand team members’ strengths. Work around the weaknesses.
I have conducted Culture Assessments and focus groups with dozens of organizations and thousands of team members nationwide, and the feedback is pretty consistent.
People want to be heard. People want to be noticed. People want to be appreciated.
And in a time where good team members are harder to find, harder to keep, and just plain exhausted if you have them, it’s more important than ever that you take really good care of them while you have the chance.
Leadership expert John C. Maxwell said, “Believe the best in others, and you will bring out their best.” (That sounds a lot like TRUST, which happens to be the value we just wrapped up in Fully Staffed for the month of March.)
One of the best gifts we can give someone is the encouragement to recognize their own gifts.
This gift is so timely in our here and now. People are tired of working themselves ragged. They crave the fresh air of opportunity and to be seen for who they uniquely are and what they can offer to help make a difference in this world and in your organization. Taking the time to build them up and help them to see they have so much more to give is critical for their retention. And as we know, people who love their jobs are more likely to recruit their family and friends to join them, making this the gift that truly gives to all involved.
In budget planning mode? Let me ask you a question. Are you budgeting more for culture improvement or agency and overtime? I know this seems like a loaded question, and it is!
I want to show you that your budget can be proactive, not reactive, when it comes to stabilizing your workforce.
Think about this:
Cost of turning over one CNA: $5,000
Cost of turning over one leader: $30,000
Now do the math with a turnover of 50, 60, 80, 100%. There is no way to get control of your bottom line with this staff churn and burn.
Meanwhile, an investment in culture improvement costs a third of what you spend to turn over one leader and it creates real and lasting improvements in your occupancy, recruitment, retention, engagement, and customer satisfaction. Simply put, investing in culture improves your bottom line. Interested in learning how? Click here to learn more!