Building the required talent for an organization never ends. Employees come and go; are on-boarded, promoted, deselected or dismissed. Strategies evolve, necessitating different levels of competence. But what remains constant is this equation for determining the capability of an employee:
Capability = Cognitive capacity + Skills & Knowledge + Value the Work – Negative Temperament
Let’s look at one component that too many managers overlook: “valuing the work”. It means that employees have to be willing to get up every day and tackle the work with relish. If they do, they will bring commitment and passion to their job. This energy is infectious throughout the workplace: when employees love what they do, and are working at the correct level for their capability, the organization thrives.
If you don’t think that valuing the work is an important requirement in the talent building process, take a look at this example, in which a radiology technician became disengaged with her work and falsified test results. This lead, tragically, to the deaths of several women whose breast scans were ignored.
Often in my coaching practice, I hear from senior managers who are puzzled by the behaviour of their direct reports. “He used to be so passionate about his job,” they tell me. “But now his work is sub-par. He shows up late, misses deadlines, and under-delivers. I don’t know what’s changed.”
As a manager, it’s your job to speak to the employee and find out what the issue is. Yes, it might be an uncomfortable conversation. But it’s your job to manage! And if you find that your employee is in over his head, or bored by the work, that’s a situation you need to resolve.
Talent building is not just about hiring the right employee for the job, and then leaving them to fend for themselves. It’s an reiterative process in which employees are selected, on-boarded and coached to success. And managers are accountable for this.