If you find yourself in a position of leadership, one of the most rewarding aspects of the job is helping to develop and grow the talents of your team members. With a stellar record and a constant hunger to take on more bundles of work, a standout, high-performing employee is an asset every manager wants on their team. They are a breeze to lead, self-motivated, and invigorate an environment of hard work and excellence.

So what do you do, then, when an energized employee, full of ideas, capably handling their daily workload, asks for more?

Encourage Continued Excellence

First and foremost, let them know they’re already doing an excellent job. Appreciate their tenacity, positivity, commitment to their role, and the value they bring to your team. Encourage them to keep striving for their personal best whilst balancing their workload. Meanwhile, promise to look into the possibility of getting more work or responsibilities for them. This communicates value for their work, and desire for growth and offers room for new challenges they crave.

Align Their Goals With Experiences

Following the acknowledgment of their skills and hard work, a one-on-one conversation about their career goals and aspirations is essential. Encourage your employee to share her vision for the near future, the short term, and the long term. This will not only promote transparency but also employee engagement. The conversation should aim to align her experiences and the opportunities available in the company with her expressed goals.

Ensuring that you have these conversations regularly can result in more engaged employees, who understand their roles, their growth potential within the company, and how their work aligns with company goals.

Communicate Potentials For Growth Limitations

Honesty is also essential in such dialogue. If your employee’s ambitions surpass the scale of growth your company can offer, it’s crucial to communicate this reality. Being honest about the potential ‘growth ceiling’ within your company isn’t intended to discourage, but rather to manage expectations and provoke a sense of realism about the opportunities that await them.

Carve Out A Niche For Them To Lead

Part of your role as a leader is to help your employees identify and strengthen their unique talents and skills. Besides working within the box, allow them to thrive outside it by assigning projects that feed their innate strengths. This tactic may even create the opportunity to carve out a unique niche for them to spearhead within the company. Such an approach can lead to not only increased job satisfaction but also personal and professional growth.

Drawing From Past Experiences

Being a leader isn’t just about the here and now. It’s about learning from and applying past experiences. Whether it’s the joy of watching a team member flourish under your leadership, the frustration when a top performer leaves, or the despair you may feel when you think of a missed opportunity – these experiences can shape your approach to leading your team.

Help Employees Get Clear On What They Want

Ultimately, in the vast tableau of employee management, one of the most productive steps a leader can take is to help the aspirant employee achieve clarity about what they want to do or become. Facilitate a clear vision and equip them with the tools they need to make the changes they want to create. This can motivate, inspire, and enable them to achieve targets beyond what even they considered possible.

In the corporate world, where growth and self-improvement are the name of the game, it is essential to harness the potential of high-performing employees. By understanding their aspirations, being honest about their growth prospects, leveraging their strengths, and helping them get clarity, it is possible to ensure not only the growth of the individual but also that of the team and the organization.

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